News: UN Peace Keepers muffle negative inspection report

I wrote before about the BBC and the Human Rights Watch reports on abuse by UN peace keepers in Congo, smuggling gold and drugs out of the country in exchange for weapons they gave to the rebels.

The UN decided that "in the absence of corroborative evidence" its investigators "could not substantiate the allegation" that Pakistani peacekeepers supplied weapons or ammunition to the militia.

The New York Times just published an article by Matthias Basanisi, the UN's deputy chief investigator in Congo at that time. He reveals nothing short but an orchestrated cover-up of the scandal:

I was the investigator in charge of the United Nations team that in 2006 looked into allegations of abuses by Pakistani peacekeepers in Congo and found them credible. But the investigation was taken away from my team after we resisted what we saw as attempts to influence the outcome. My fellow team members and I were appalled to see that the oversight office’s final report was little short of a whitewash.

The reports we submitted to the office’s senior management in 2006 included credible information from witnesses confirming illegal deals between Pakistani peacekeepers and warlords from the Front for National Integration, an ethnic militia group notorious for its cruelty even in such a brutal war. We found corroborative information that senior officers of the Pakistani contingent secretly returned seized weapons to two warlords in exchange for gold, and that the Pakistani peacekeepers tipped off two warlords about plans by the United Nations peacekeeping force and the Congolese Army to arrest them.

And yet, much of the evidence we uncovered was excluded from the final report released last summer, including corroboration from the warlords themselves. (Full)

I wonder what is worse now: Trading weapons with warring fractions you are supposed to protect the people from, in exchange for gold and drugs you smuggle out of the country. Or covering up the inspection report revealing this abuse?

Source: The Gstaad Project, International Aidworkers Today


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