The United Nations announced today that it is sending a management audit team to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) this weekend in response to allegations of misconduct by troops serving with the world body’s peacekeeping operation there.
Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Marie Guéhenno told reporters that an investigation by the UN’s Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) has not found evidence of gun smuggling by blue helmets serving with the UN mission in the DRC, which is known by its French acronym MONUC, but added that “it points to the possibility that one individual may have facilitated gold smuggling.”
The results of that probe are being shared with the concerned troop contributing country “and we expect that action will be taken,” he added in response to press questions.
Mr. Guéhenno said there was an ongoing investigation of allegations concerning Indian troops, adding that given the “very serious concerns,” the UN decided to dispatch immediately a management audit team to the DRC capital, Kinshasa, to examine the issue.
“We want to react fast. We think that problems are better addressed when they are addressed quickly,” he said. “The purpose of the team is to work very cooperatively with our mission so that we address the issue together and we come to a good resolution.”
UN spokesperson Marie Okabe said the team, which is to be led by a senior official, “will work with all levels of the UN mission to obtain a full picture of various recent allegations of serious misconduct against UN personnel serving with MONUC.”
The team “will also evaluate management processes related to the maintenance of good order and discipline in the mission,” she added.
The team will report to UN Headquarters with recommendations aimed at strengthening mission management on this issue, according to the spokesperson.