U.N. Watch: The sexual-abuse script
Another allegation of sexual abuse involving United Nations peacekeepers. Another fumbled attempt at U.N. damage control. And another resignation by a top U.N. official.
The script is all too familiar in the latest scandal, allegedly involving French soldiers last year in the Central African Republic. Reportedly young boys were sexually abused by troops assigned to protect civilians. Flavia Pansieri, deputy high commissioner for human rights, who reportedly took no action at the time of the allegations, has resigned, citing health reasons, according to The New York Times.
And as often is the case in these scandals, a U.N. whistle-blower, who passed along a copy of an internal report to French diplomats, was suspended but later reinstated and remains under investigation.
The boys’ testimony was collected by U.N. staff in May 2014. Ms. Pansieri, a U.N. veteran, never explained why she apparently did nothing until the following March — eight months after the report was leaked.
Exposing bureaucratic bungling — or getting stung by it — is a career killer at the U.N. Which is why it’s tough to put much faith in Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s appointed panel, which is supposed to review how the U.N. handles sexual abuse allegations against peacekeepers.
These unrelenting atrocities have dogged U.N. peacekeepers for years. Actually holding some feet to the fire begins with the U.S. withholding its substantial share of the U.N.’s peacekeeping funding.