The Telegraph (UK) reported today on news that isn't new at all.
The UN said today that it would launch an investigation after the Daily Telegraph reported allegations that UN personnel have abused children in southern Sudan.
The abuse allegedly began two years ago when the UN mission in southern Sudan (UNMIS) moved in to help rebuild the region after a 23-year civil war. The UN has up to 10,000 military personnel in the region, of all nationalities and the allegations involve peacekeepers, military police and civilian staff.
The first indications of possible sexual exploitation emerged within months of the UN force’s arrival and The Daily Telegraph has seen a draft of an internal report compiled by the UN children’s agency Unicef in July 2005 referring to the problem.
The UN is just now launching an investigation, when they've known about it for a year and a half? When there have been reports for years of UN "peacekeepers" raping women under their care?
The British regional co-ordinator for UNMIS, James Ellery, has refuted the claims, arguing that there is no substantiating evidence.
"I will refute all claims made on this issue," he said in an interview last May. "We investigated all allegations made and no evidence was forthcoming. None of these claims can be substantiated. This is the most backward country in Africa and there are lots of misunderstandings as to the UN's role. Over 90 per cent of people here are illiterate and rumours therefore spread very quickly."
"No substantiating evidence," according to the article, means that doctors haven't corroborated the allegations. But there are adult witnesses to the UN vehicles picking up and dropping off children and to the UN vehicles being parked in other suspicious locations all night. Perhaps Ellery didn't want to talk to the witnesses.
Mr Ellery insisted that his organisation was following correct codes of conduct.
"We provide regular briefings on the UN code of conduct. Nobody employed by the UN is meant to have sexual contact at all with any local person," he said. He did, however, appear to acknowledge that the organisation might not be able to ensure that all its staff behave according to standards.
"We are applying a standard of morality that is very, very high but we cannot expect that soldiers when they go abroad are going to behave themselves as we think they should.
"There are a wide range of countries being represented in the UN forces and among these there is always going to be a bad apple."
This is beyond one bad apple.
Once again, the UN reveals that it's not just incapable of solving problems around the world, it contributes to the problems. Dismantle the UN. Send its ambassadors packing, and use the money we currently spend funding that den of iniquity on actually helping the people of the world.