South African peacekeepers are the world’s worst sexual predators on U.N. missions, according to a report published by the United Nations Office of Internal Oversight Services. South African military, police and civilian uniformed personnel face nine substantiated allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse — the highest number for any member state from 2010 to 2013.
The report reviewed the U.N.’s four biggest peace missions and found that sexual offenses committed by its peacekeepers occurred regularly. The U.N. received 480 substantiated sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) allegations from 2008 to 2013 in field missions comprising peacekeeping operations and special political missions. The U.N. provided assistance to just 12 percent of the victims.
“The United Nations has assisted very few of the victims of SEA that have entered its victim assistance architecture,” the report stated. “The United Nations has performed very poorly in assisting victims of SEA when measured against the General Assembly’s intention that victims of SEA should be assisted ‘reliably,’ ‘quickly’ and ‘in a timely manner.’ Data demonstrates the extent of this failure: only 26 out of 217 SEA victims (12 percent) identified by its victim assistance architecture have been referred for assistance and of those referred, little is known what assistance, in reality, was provided to them.”
The report found that about one-third of the sexual misconduct claims involved a minor, while 45 percent of all peacekeeping-related allegations occurred in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. More than 2,000 South African troops are stationed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan and South Sudan, according to Times LIVE in Johannesburg.
The damning report was published after the U.N. was accused of trying to cover up the sexual abuse of women and children by French peacekeeping troops in the Central African Republic. Senior U.N. aid worker Anders Kompass was suspended for disclosing to French authorities an internal report on the abuse because the U.N. allegedly failed to take action. The internal report documented the sexual abuse of children as young as 9-years-old by French soldiers stationed in the African country as part of international peacekeeping efforts, the Guardian reported in April.