UN probing rape allegations against peacekeepers in Haiti

24 February 2005

A preliminary investigation into a Haitian woman's rape accusations against United Nations peacekeepers suggests that the encounter involved prostitution, but since the personal code of conduct for "blue helmets" forbids that kind of contact, the soldiers will be disciplined, a UN spokesman said today.

The woman alleged that she was raped last Friday by three peacekeepers in Gonaïves, Fred Eckhard said. Gonaïves is a port town in western Haiti.

The preliminary inquiry started on Saturday indicated that "the incident involved two Pakistani police officers and was a case of prostitution," he said.

"Strict disciplinary action will be taken against both officers, including suspension from duty and repatriation, if the allegations are further substantiated," Mr. Eckhard said, adding that a new board of inquiry was also being established.

The UN has instituted a "zero tolerance" policy on sexual liaisons by civilian staff and military during peacekeeping missions.

 

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