Tuesday, 17 February 2015

UN “Peace” Forces in Haiti Prey on Civilians, Children

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Rather than protecting local civilians, United Nations “peacekeeping” forces in Haiti are behaving as ruthless predators that systematically prey on Haitians, raping and sexually abusing even children with impunity, according to a new report detailing the horrors. Instead of dealing with the ghastly and systemic abuses perpetrated under its latest decade-long occupation, UN military officials seek to cover it up and even retaliate against whistleblowers. On top of that, the global outfit’s “peace” armies have been spreading deadly diseases among the traumatized population — particularly cholera, which has killed almost 10,000 Haitians so far. All the while, the UN continues to avoid any semblance of accountability under the guise of “immunity.”

According to the report, when UN peacekeepers were not partying and enjoying themselves at the beach, partly at U.S. taxpayer expense, many of them were sexually exploiting children, trafficking drugs, hiring prostitutes, and more. “For less than $5, the Sri Lankan soldiers exploited the very population they were sent to safeguard,” wrote investigative journalist Kathie Klarreich. “They conveniently disregarded the trampled condition of the fence surrounding their military base so that Haitian boys and girls could crawl under and over it, which they did with great frequency. In their wake, they left behind condoms, which were noted by UN investigators when they finally cracked down on the security breach and the flagrant violation of UN policy.”

The UN, of course, knew full well what its “peace” troops were engaged in. Klarreich describes a team of UN investigators who investigated the UN’s Sri Lankan troops in Haiti and “found that transactional sex among the peacekeepers was rampant.” Over the years, Klarreich reported, “rotating peacekeepers from Sri Lanka gave the new recruits the SIM cards that held the names and numbers of those willing to engage in sex, including boys and girls just entering their teens.” Often they met in the UN military base, other times they raped children in UN vehicles, with fellow UN soldiers keeping a lookout from the UN’s observation tower, according to a UN investigator cited in Klarreich’s chilling investigation.  

“Transactional sex with peacekeepers isn’t new, nor is sexual exploitation and abuse — S.E.A., in UN jargon,” Klarreich reported. “The first widespread exposure of the practice, including exploitation of children, pornography, trafficking and sexual assault, occurred in the early 1990s. Then there was the sex-trafficking in Bosnia, Herzegovina and Kosovo.” Over the decades, The New American and other sources have also documented myriad abuses and horrors — murder, mass rape, pedophilia, human trafficking, systematic sexual exploitation of children, deadly attacks on protestors, and more — by UN forces around the world.

The report also highlights the grotesque sexual abuse of a mentally handicapped young boy — starting when he was just eight years old and lasting for five years — by UN troops from Pakistan. When it was reported to the Pakistani UN commander, rather than reporting it to the UN mission, the commander “decided to handle it himself.” Apparently the UN officer was hoping the case would disappear, “since he was also abusing the boy,” Klarreich reported. The UN force also reportedly hired a kidnapper to hide their victim from investigators.  

Perhaps even more shockingly, though hardly uncommon when it comes to horrors and brutal crimes perpetrated by UN troops, the entire case was largely swept under the rug. The victim and his family, for example, were left uncompensated. Meanwhile, the UN troops and officers involved in abusing the mentally handicapped child were sent home rather than being forced to face a public court martial in Haiti — all with the connivance of senior UN officials, reportedly including the secretary general for peacekeeping operations. Another Haitian boy was raped by UN troops on video camera in an incident that sparked a global outcry.  

When it comes to the UN brutality unleashed against the people of Haiti, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, and South Sudan, Klarreich and others suggested there was a “racial element” to it all. She also pointed out the obvious: Victims of UN crimes, faced with a heavily armed occupying force, are highly unlikely to report the abuses to the very entity that hired the abusers. In other words, the seemingly never-ending array of ghoulish crimes that have come to light so far almost certainly represent a tiny fraction of the horrors taking place every day in UN-occupied nations. Even mission investigators cited in the report noted that “official numbers mask what appears to be significant amounts of under-reporting.”

The report highlights the case of one American whistleblower and former police officer who tried, in vain, to expose and stop the abuses perpetrated by UN troops and police in Haiti. Working for a U.S. government contractor in Haiti, the American, identified only as 38-year-old “T.”, was told by Haitian refugees living in a camp that UN police were “taking advantage” of women there. Apparently a UN police supervisor was also involved in sexually abusing civilians. Less than a month later, the same whistleblower learned of the brutal assault on a cleaning woman by a UN soldier from Bangladesh. Instead of dealing with the crime spree and punishing the perpetrators, UN officials, including the very people involved in terrorizing and raping Haitians, demonized her. Eventually she was fired.          

The explosive investigative report, headlined “United Nations in Haiti: When Protectors Turn Predators,” details a systematic series of abuses and coverups, along with the UN’s responses to them — or lack thereof. It was produced by journalist, author, and Haiti expert Klarreich with the 100Reporters investigative news group. The investigation, which sheds light on the little-known happenings under UN occupation and has now been published in multiple media outlets, was supported by the International Anti-Corruption Conference Global Game Changers Initiative. Of course, the report also references other UN military horrors as well, including, for example, widespread sexual exploitation of children by UN troops in Cambodia that was dismissed as a “boys will be boys” situation by a senior UN official.

In December of 2014, another scandal rocked the UN’s “peace” occupation of Haiti after UN troops fired on protesters demanding long overdue elections. According to news reports, eyewitness accounts, and UN officials, the global outfit’s military forces, hiding in armored vehicles behind heavy weapons, used live ammunition and chemical agents against the marchers on their way to the presidential palace. Video footage of the attack shows one UN soldier chasing after fleeing protestors firing shots from a pistol at them before terrorizing and shrieking at a cameraman attempting to document it all. Reports suggest at least one demonstrator was killed and many others wounded.

A supposed UN “investigation” of the event is reportedly ongoing, but so far, virtually nothing has been released publicly. “I can tell you that MINUSTAH [UN Mission in Haiti] confirms that the investigation has been completed and the report is now being reviewed by the Mission’s leadership,” claimed UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq after being asked about it by Inner City Press last month. “Appropriate actions have been taken on the initial recommendations for improvements in compliance with established operational procedures. At the same time, the concerned individuals have been suspended from operational duty and the member state concerned has been informed about the investigation.”

Another outrage foisted on Haiti by the UN’s military occupation — cholera — has killed almost 10,000 people so far, with the death toll still marching higher. According to reports, the deadly disease was re-introduced into the nation by UN troops stationed at a base that was discharging raw sewage into Haiti’s largest river. So far, the global outfit, regularly ridiculed in the United States as the “dictators club,” has refused to accept responsibility for the many deaths its troops sparked in the poverty-stricken nation. Again it is hiding behind “immunity.”      

“It is shameful for the Security Council to come to Haiti in support of democracy when it has never even acknowledged that UN wrongdoing has caused tremendous pain and suffering in our country,” complained Mario Joseph, managing attorney of the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) in Haiti, a group seeking justice and compensation for victims of the UN’s cholera. “The Security Council will lecture Haitians on respecting the rule of law while its own organization refuses to respect its legal obligations to victims of cholera. To Haitians, this is a hypocritical position and undermines the UN’s credibility here.”

Other experts say it is time for the UN to be stripped of its “absolute immunity” in order to have real oversight and accountability. “Today, in the 21st century, there’s no reason for the UN to enjoy an absolute immunity that harkens back to the days of kings and queens,” international attorney Patrick Flaherty, who specializes in whistleblower protection, was quoted as saying in the report on UN predators in Haiti. “Unless that is addressed, there will be no effective oversight.… No one is guarding the guardians. It’s a system set up by the defendant, controlled by the defendant and run by the defendant.”      

The list of UN crimes goes on and on. Shortly after shooting at protesters in Haiti, as The New American reported, UN troops gunned down unarmed protesters in Mali last month while occupying that country, killing several and wounding more. And systematic sexual exploitation and abuses of civilians by UN forces is beyond common. Just in the Ivorian town Toulepleu, for example, a poll conducted by the non-profit Save the Children revealed that eight out of 10 minor girls admitted to regularly being raped and forced into sexual acts by UN soldiers. “They grabbed me and threw me to the ground and they forced themselves on me,” an Ivorian girl known as “Elizabeth,” just 13 years old when she was gang-raped by UN troops, recounted to the BBC in 2008. “I tried to escape but there were 10 of them and I could do nothing.... I was terrified. Then they just left me there bleeding.”

Similar horror stories have emerged from virtually every nation occupied by the global body’s “peace” armies. Virtually no UN soldiers have been held accountable, let alone the UN itself. Going further back, history is also replete with UN-sponsored atrocities. In Rwanda, for example, UN “disarmament” bureaucrats forcibly disarmed civilians, many of whom were later exterminated in the government-backed 1994 genocide. As far back as the early 1960s, the UN waged a ruthless war against the anti-communist people of Katanga in a bid to force them to submit to a bloodthirsty communist dictator. From Congo and Somalia to Haiti and Cambodia, UN troops have developed a reputation as terror squads there to victimize and abuse innocents rather than “protect civilians” or keep the “peace.”

Almost unbelievably, the Obama administration is currently working hard with other governments and dictatorships to further expand and empower the UN’s lawless military force — all with U.S. taxpayer funding. The American people, though, should not be forced to finance the brutal and systematic abuse of civilians by UN forces around the world. Instead, Congress should immediately cut all funds from the UN in preparation for the full withdrawal of the U.S. government from the “dictators club.”

 

Alex Newman, a foreign correspondent for The New American, is normally based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @ALEXNEWMAN_JOU. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Related articles:

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In Mali, Forces Backed by UN, France, and Obama Slaughter Civilians

UN “Peacekeeping” Troops Face Scandals on Sex Crimes, Corruption

UN “Peace” Armies to Drastically Expand with Obama’s Support

UN Troops Accused of Sex Crimes Worldwide

UN-Backed Troops Wreak Havoc in Africa

UN-backed Forces Slaughter Christians in Ivory Coast

United Nations Exploits Pseudo-“Human Rights” to Attack U.S.

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The United Nations: On the Brink of Becoming a World Government
 

 

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