UN begins formal inquiry into rape allegations against UN police officers in Haiti

25 February 2005

A board of inquiry into a Haitian woman's accusation that she was raped last week by two civilian police officers serving with the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Caribbean country has begun its work.

UN spokesman Fred Eckhard told reporters today that the board is expected to complete its investigation and then report its findings within the next two weeks. The board has been set up by the UN to investigate the woman's allegations in-depth.

Two Pakistani police officers serving with the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) have already been suspended, and, Mr. Eckhard added, they will be repatriated if the board confirms the initial findings of a preliminary probe. That probe found "the incident involved two Pakistani police officers and was a case of prostitution," he said yesterday.

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

The woman has alleged that she was raped on Friday in Gonaïves, a large port city north of the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince.


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