Ricochet News

UN names South African troops as world’s worst sex offenders

By Charl Bosch - Jun 24, 2015
UN names South African troops as world’s worst sex offenders

South African soldiers involved in United Nations (UN) peace keeping missions have been identified as the worst sex offenders of its kind in the world.

According to a report published by the UN’s Office of Internal Oversight Services, which focuses on missions taking place in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Sudan, Liberia and Haiti, South African soldiers faced a total of nine out of the 480 allegations of sexual abuse claims committed between 2008 and 2013, with the next worst being Uruguay at eight claims and Nigeria at seven.

The report states that around 45% of the offences took place in the DRC, where some 2 000 South African soldiers are based, with 36% of all claims involving minors and assistance being provided to only 12% of cases reported. No exact details about the nature of the allegations were made although the report claims that more than one soldier committed the offence.

“What the report shows is that whatever the military is doing to address ill-discipline is not working. It is gravely concerning that South Africa tops the list. When victims of conflict see peacekeepers they are meant to feel protected, not fear them,” Conflict Management and Post-Conflict Issues researcher at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Sava Heleta, told The Times.

“In Burundi, when South Africa led the peacekeeping mission between 2001 and 2009, our troops faced nearly 400 misdemeanours and about 1 000 military trials, [ranging from] absence without leave to rape and murder. In the DRC, between 2005 and 2006, they faced 264 misdemeanours and more than 546 military trials for serious crimes. This shows there are still very serious problems in the SANDF”.

No word has yet been made by the SANDF on the allegations.


IMAGE sourced from www.theprogressive.co.za