Monday, April 28, 2008

DR Congo 'peacekeepers' plundering resources and arming thugs

A year and a half long BBC investigation uncovered serious corruption in the world's largest peacekeeping mission. It revealed that Indian and Pakistani peacekeepers in MONUC, the UN mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, armed militias and smuggled gold and ivory.

Furthermore, the BBC reported on a coverup within the international body.

The UN investigated some of the claims in 2007, but said it could not substantiate claims of arms dealing. UN insiders told the BBC's Panorama they had been prevented from pursuing their inquiries for political reasons, it reported.

Pakistan and India are two of the three largest contributors of manpower to UN peacekeeping, providing between them over 22 percent of the international body's peacekeepers.

The allegations come a few years after an earlier scandal where MONUC soldiers were accused of rampant sexual violence in the country.

The rationale for arming militias was that MONUC troops basically co-opted them to help ensure security in areas where they (the militias) were powerful. This isn't really much different than the US strategy in Occupied Iraq and will probably lead to similarly disastrous consequences.

No word on what was the justification for naked plundering.

It's hard enough being an American who's an unabashed internationalist and believes in the concept of the UN and the international community, without having crap like this happen. The allegations are bad enough. The shameful coverup, however typical it may be of large bureaucracies, only further degrades the global body's reputation.

Things are bad enough in this cursed country without the 'helpers' making things worse.

Update: It's ironic that this foreign corruption scandal erupted at a time when the Congolese themselves are reportedly trying hard to change the country's culture of graft.

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At 12:58 PM, Anonymous jim said...

interesting that Canada could not find a command group to bring some order to the peacekeeping effort there.


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