BFF-71 UN bars Nigerian peacekeeper for sexually exploiting woman

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UN bars Nigerian peacekeeper for sexually exploiting woman

UNITED NATIONS, United States, Oct 2, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – A Nigerian
policeman who served as a UN peacekeeper in the Democratic Republic of Congo
has been sent home and barred from peacekeeping after an investigation found
he had sexually exploited a woman, a UN spokesman said Tuesday.

The allegations against the Nigerian national date back to February and
March 2017, but the woman later withdrew her complaint to the MONUSCO peace
mission.

UN investigators “found that the allegation of sexual exploitation was
substantiated and that the victim had been paid off by the alleged subject to
withdraw her complaint,” said UN spokesman Farhan Haq.

The policeman, who had since moved on to serve in the UN mission in South
Sudan, was recently sent home and UN officials have asked Nigeria to report
on any disciplinary or legal action taken against him.

UN peacekeeping missions are facing a damaging wave of allegations of sex
abuse and sexual exploitation of civilians that they are mandated to protect
in conflict zones worldwide.

Under UN rules, it is up to the troop- or police-contributing country to
take action against their nationals in cases of misconduct in peacekeeping
missions.

That has led to complaints that peacekeepers have not been held accountable
in their countries for sexual abuse and exploitation of civilians while
serving under the UN flag.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has vowed to toughen the response to
allegations of misconduct by the peacekeepers.

Last month, the Security Council adopted a US-drafted resolution aimed at
reinforcing measures such as repatriating peacekeepers and withholding UN
payments to soldiers involved in misconduct.

The United Nations has 96,000 peacekeepers serving in 14 missions
worldwide.

BSS/AFP/MRI/2323 HRS