A new investigation into the disgusting behavior of UN peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has confirmed twenty years of widespread sexual misconduct that destroyed thousands of lives.
Victims say they were trafficked, raped, impregnated, and abandoned without child support.
Since 1999, the US has deployed troops to the Congo, where they are currently serving in the “Monusco” UN mission. The new report was more comprehensive than the previous one, interviewing roughly 2,500 people, including women and girls who had been raped by the peacekeepers and the children who were the result of those crimes.
Over 1,000 respondents brought up the peacekeeper-fathered children in the study, even though the interviewers did not mention it first.
Many of the female survivors were under 18 years old at the time and said they were promised support if a sexual encounter resulted in pregnancy.
However, the women were instead left in poverty suffering with fatherless children as peacekeepers abandoned their commitments and redeployed out of the Congo after the girls became pregnant.
“Part of the problem is that some of those deployed seem to be treating these missions as an opportunity for sex tourism and sexual crimes that they are unlikely to commit in their home countries,” said Kirstin Wagner, who worked on the research.
While some of the pregnancies were the result of consenting intercourse, most victims were raped, and many others were sold and used as prostitutes by other UN forces.
To this day, all of the Congolese survivors with children have been denied financial assistance, because according to the UN, the mission is to bring the offenders accountable rather than to pay the victims. Neither the UN nor any peacekeepers who left their families behind have offered financial support.
The investigation discovered that some victims were compelled to turn to sex work in order to make a living due to the cultural stigma associated with having a child out of wedlock.
The absence of their fathers and its repercussions on their lives were frequently mentioned by the abandoned children of peacekeepers during the investigators’ roughly thirty conversations with them.
Numerous survivors were determined to be experiencing emotional trauma.
The UN asserts that it has implemented a number of measures to guard against abuses by its peacekeepers. But their violent clashes with locals have been well-documented throughout the world for many years, and the UN has done very little to help their victims up to this point.
This content was originally published here.