Members of the United Nations peacekeeping forces in southern Sudan are facing allegations of raping and abusing children as young as 12, The Daily Telegraph has learned.
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 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 detailing the problem.
But the UN has not publicly acknowledged that there is a problem and when contacted repeatedly by this newspaper UN headquarters refused to comment.
[...] This paper has gathered more than 20 victims' accounts claiming that peacekeeping and civilian staff based in the town are regularly picking up young children in their UN vehicles and forcing them to have sex.
It is thought that hundreds of children may have been abused.
[...] The Daily Telegraph has learned that a number of complaints have been made about the behaviour of UN personnel stationed in Juba. Yet those accused have not been tracked down nor has there been any attempt by the UN or local officials to interview those making the accusations. [...] An unfinished copy of the internal Unicef report, seen by The Daily Telegraph, shows that the UN has been aware of the problem for more than a year.
"Evidence suggests that UNMIS staff may already be involved in sexual exploitation," the report says. "UN cars have been staying into the early hours of the morning, as late as 6am, at a restaurant/disco called Kololo in Juba … adult informants reported seeing a UNMIS car stop along a main road in Juba to pick up three young girls."
We would respectfully refer the previously mentioned hypocrites who call for "Saving Darfur" by sending in UN peacekeepers to the above article.
A local judge doesn't appear too concerned though:
Juba's county court judge, Ali Said, said that the region had seen an increase in child prostitution since the UN arrived.
''The majority of people working for the UN and NGOs are men and need to be entertained. But no cases have come to court," he said.
Aha, we get it Ali, it's just men needing to be entertained. Nothing to see, move along folks.
Just to be clear, the UN isn't the only one doing the raping in Sudan. The Islamist militias themselves have been quite busy as well.