US says withdrawing UN military from Haiti is good example

Peacekeepers give directions to vehicles as they secure the perimeter of the MINUSTAH base after Hurricane Matthew in Les Cayes Haiti

Peacekeepers give directions to vehicles as they secure the perimeter of the MINUSTAH base after Hurricane Matthew in Les Cayes Haiti

She strongly warned the countries that if they refuse to hold their soldiers accountable, there will be consequences such as their financial compensation will end.

Former U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recommended that peacekeepers accused of sexual abuse and exploitation be court martialed in the countries where the alleged incidents take place and said the U.N. would withhold payments to peacekeepers facing credible allegations.

She said the United States and the global community are committed to Haiti's "democratic development, independence and economic growth" and will also continue to push for accountability of U.N. peacekeeping missions accused of sexual abuse.

Today, the UN Security Council voted to end the MINUSTAH peacekeeping mission after a 13-year presence in Haiti.

And this week the Associated Press reported that for years Haitian children were lured into a sex ring led by United Nations peacekeepers from Sri Lanka.

During her interview with investigators, another young victim, V07, received a phone call from a Sri Lankan peacekeeper. More than 300 of the allegations involved children, the AP found, but only a fraction of the alleged perpetrators were jailed. V04, who was 14, said she had sex with the soldiers every day in exchange for money, cookies or juice. In 2016, the United Nations mission in the Central African Republic became embroiled in reports that more than 100 people had faced sexual abuse at the hands of peacekeepers.

With her were three other women who said they also were raped by peacekeepers.

The AP contacted Sri Lanka to ask what happened to the soldiers who were implicated in the crime.

The U.N. apologized past year and promised to compensate affected Haitians, but has yet to raise the proposed $400 million for the effort. It is the only United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Americas.

The council's decision was met with conflicting emotions in Haiti, where many fear that dark days of instability will return after the foreign soldiers depart. He noted that gender equality is fundamental to tackling sexual crimes and said that promoting equality for all United Nations workers can help fight abuse of women. An Italian non-governmental organization, AVSI, helped the children at the time but lost track of them after the country's devastating 2010 quake. Many Haitians might disagree with that. "Human rights aren't just for rich white people".

As long as there is no accountability for the member states of the United Nations and no global consensus on how to deal with these issues, it's tough to imagine a solution.

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