U.S. says countries must punish United Nations troops for sexual abuse

The United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Thursday urged all countries including Sri Lanka that provide troops for U.N. peacekeeping missions to hold soldiers accountable for sexual abuse and exploitation of women and children in Haiti.

She strongly warned the countries that if they refuse to hold their soldiers accountable, there will be consequences such as their financial compensation will end.

Former U.N. secretary-general Ban Ki-moon recommended that U.N. peacekeepers accused of sexual abuse and exploitation be court martialed in countries where the alleged incidents took place.

The United Nations Security Council voted unanimously to end the mission. The allegations involved United Nations peacekeepers and other personnel. And Member States have not always given us the information we needed.

The mission started in 2004 amid unrest following the removal of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

An Associated Press investigation into a sexual offence committed by a U.N peacekeeping soldier on his mission duty has shaken the foundations of the worldwide organization and provoked harsh reactions by the global powers.

United Nations spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said that troop contributors have a responsibility to certify that none of the soldiers that are being deployed from wherever they come from have ever been implicated in any sexual abuse, and so the United Nations would expect Sri Lanka and all other troop contributors to do the same. Alleged victimizers came from Bangladesh, Brazil, Jordan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Uruguay and Sri Lanka, according to United Nations data and interviews. "Did these peacekeepers keep them safe?" Some 9,300 people have died and more than 800,000 sickened.

The resolution recognizes "the major milestone towards stabilization" achieved by the successful holding of presidential and legislative elections and the country's return to "constitutional order". But it also said global support is needed to strengthen, professionalize and reform the police, promote economic development and face the "significant humanitarian challenges" following Hurricane Matthew, which struck in October.

While the mission was marred by the cholera outbreak and sex scandals, it also redeemed itself in not only protecting civilians and ending the chaos, but also in carrying out rescue operations during the 2010 quake that killed over 200,000.

But many Haitian citizens have always seen the multinational peacekeepers as an occupying force and an affront to national sovereignty. I don't see how they've been helping Haiti at all. He said in Port-au-Prince.

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