UN mission in DR of Congo suspends or expels civilians in sexual abuse cases, clears three

17 March 2005

Seventeen civilians in the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have been investigated on allegations of sexual exploitation, of which three cases have been closed for lack of evidence and one is still being reviewed, a UN spokesman said today.

"One person was summarily dismissed and is currently being prosecuted in France. One resigned rather than face disciplinary procedures," Fred Eckhard said at the daily briefing for journalists at UN Headquarters in New York. "Six have been suspended without pay pending disciplinary action."

Five were UN Volunteers, he said, and their cases have been referred to the UN Development Programme, of which UNV is a part.

UN peacekeepers are forbidden to consort with the local people they are there to serve.

With reference to one of the three cases closed, Mr. Eckhard made clear that "no grounds for initiating disciplinary procedures were found" against Jacques Grinberg, the former chief of staff of the UN Organization Mission in the DRC (MONUC), and said the investigation had ended.

Mr. Grinberg was told this on 14 January, the spokesman said.


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