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Cablegate: The Effectiveness of Un Efforts to Combat Sexual

VZCZCXRO6537
PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #0584 1961505
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 141505Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8195
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

UNCLAS KINSHASA 000584

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958; NA
TAGS: PREL KPKO PHUM UN SE KCRM KWMN CG
SUBJECT: THE EFFECTIVENESS OF UN EFFORTS TO COMBAT SEXUAL
EXPLOITATION AND ABUSE IN UN PEACEKEEPING MISSIONS

REF: A. STATE 68780
B. 07 KINSHASA 763


1. (SBU) Summary: In response to reftel, NGO's and UN officials
here have confirmed that a number of sexual exploitation and abuse
(SEA) cases by MONUC peacekeepers are currently under investigation.
The good news is that the monthly rate of SEA allegations has gone
down since 2005. Also, there have been no recent allegations of
trafficking in persons (TIP) cases. Data suggest that MONUC's
efforts to bring down SEA and TIP are effective. End summary.


2. (SBU) Emboff contacted local NGO's "Voix Sans Voix" (VSV - Voice
of the Voiceless) and "Comite des Observateurs des Droits de
l'Homme" (CODHO - Committee of Human Rights Observers), as well as a
Conduct and Discipline Unit (CDU) officer at MONUC. They confirmed
that an unspecified number of SEA allegations committed by MONUC
peacekeepers are the subject of internal inquiry. A UN OIOS (Office
of Internal Oversight Services) officer told us that there have been
no recent trafficking in persons (TIP) investigations. The previous
assessment of MONUC anti-SEA and -TIP efforts was submitted in July
2007 (ref B).

3. (SBU) According to VSV and CODHO, SEA allegations occur in North
Kivu, Kinshasa, Orientale, and Equateur. (Note: 90% of MONUC's
troops are stationed in North Kivu. End note). NGO's said,
unsurprisingly, that incidents of SEA have angered many Congolese
citizens and they complained that insufficient attention is given to
the plight of victims. Representatives of both organizations argued
that MONUC needs to make both moral and material reparations. They
also maintained that the results of investigations need to be made
public and MONUC employees prosecuted in order to reassure the
general population that justice is served and to prevent other MONUC
employees from engaging in similar behavior. (Note: Local NGOs have
historically been critical of MONUC and taken proactive positions on
allegations of MONUC wrongdoing. End note)

4. (SBU) MONUC CDU and OIOS officers corroborated what NGO
representatives stated: that there are several ongoing
investigations into sexual exploitation and abuse committed by MONUC
employees. The CDU officer, however, asserted that the situation
has improved since 2005 with a decrease in the monthly rate of
allegations. The CDU carries out spot checks confirming all new
personnel receive training on MONUC's zero tolerance policy against
the solicitation of prostitutes and other sexually exploitative or
abusive behavior. The CDU officer alluded to a well-known problem,
i.e., that it is difficult to have uniform disciplinary procedures
due to the fact that each contributing country has national
jurisdiction over their own troops.

5. (SBU) Comment: With 23,000 military and civilian personnel on
the ground, the complete eradication of sexual exploitative behavior
by MONUC is unlikely. However, a greater effort by OIOS and MONUC's
own CDU to publish the results of investigations seems to have put
pressure on contributing countries to discipline their troops and
thereby bring down abuses. The reduction in the monthly rate of SEA
allegations and the absence of any TIP allegations suggest that
MONUC's efforts to bring down SEA and TIP are effective. End
comment.

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