Alleged Abuses by UN Peacekeepers in the Central African Republic
Mark C. Toner
Deputy Department Spokesperson
August 14, 2015
The United States is profoundly shocked and dismayed by allegations and incidents of serious misconduct by UN peacekeepers serving in the UN Multidimensional Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA). The most recent of those allegations includes rape and civilian casualties during an arrest operation in early August. These allegations raise serious concerns about the mission’s discipline and command. They must be investigated immediately and thoroughly, with appropriate punishment and accountability for the perpetrators.
We welcome recent actions from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon including convoking leaders of UN peacekeeping missions, and calling for yesterday’s special session of the Security Council to discuss these serious allegations and the efforts he is taking to strengthen the UN’s response and institute a policy of zero tolerance for misconduct of any kind by UN peacekeepers and staff.
The United States remains convinced of the importance of MINUSCA in supporting the transition process underway in the Central African Republic and of the central utility of UN peacekeeping in advancing peace and reconciliation in regions afflicted with violence. Instances of abuse such as these and others in recent years, however, threaten to undermine the credibility of this crucial tool for conflict resolution. We will continue to push the UN for urgent action to improve vetting, implement measures to protect civilians from abuse and exploitation, and investigate any allegations and take and appropriate action. The United States also calls upon Member States to ensure that their personnel serving in UN peacekeeping missions are subject to investigations and appropriate legal action at home for any crimes they may commit while in service as a peacekeeper.
The United States reaffirms its support for MINUSCA’s vast efforts to support the population of the Central African Republic and we call on all parties to renew and demonstrate their commitment to free, fair, and peaceful elections.