UN abuse in Congo 'caught on film'

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The Independent Online

Some United Nations staff who sexually abused girls and women in the Democratic Republic of Congo have had their activities caught on film.

Some United Nations staff who sexually abused girls and women in the Democratic Republic of Congo have had their activities caught on film.

Refugees in Congo have made more than 150 allegations against UN staff, including accusations of paedophilia, rape and prostitution. Now, the UN says it has photographic and video evidence to back up the allegations.

One case involved a senior official in charge of security, and one of the investigators was caught soliciting a prostitute.

Refugees say that girls as young as 12 were encouraged to trade sex for food.

Some UN staff from France, Tunisia, Australia and Haiti have already been asked to leave Congo in the light of the accusations. The UN currently has 10,000 peacekeepers in the country, protecting a peace deal signed last year.

Jane Holl Lute, the UN's assistant secretary general for peacekeeping, said: "It's important that those missions be above reproach. We are shining a light on this problem in order to determine its scope, and we will not stop there." Last week, the UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, admitted publicly that some of his civilian and military staff were guilty of abuses.

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