UN Bars Nigerian Police Officer from Peacekeeping Missions over Sexual Assault on Congolese Woman

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The United Nations Peacekeeping Mission has banned a Nigerian Police officer from participating in future UN peacekeeping missions after having been found guilty of sexual assault and exploitation of a Congolese woman.

The UN reported that the Police officer who served as a UN peacekeeper in the Democratic Republic of Congo was expelled from the mission and barred from peacekeeping after an investigation found he had sexually exploited a woman.

The allegations of sexual abuse had been pending against the Nigerian national as far back as February and March 2017; the woman in question had however withdrawn her complaint to the MONUSCO peace mission.

UN investigators however discovered that the allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse by the Nigerian were substantiated. The woman had apparently withdrawn her complaint after being paid off by the Nigerian Police man.

The policeman, who had since moved on to serve in the UN mission in South Sudan, was recently sent home and UN officials have asked Nigeria to report on any disciplinary or legal action taken against him.

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This comes in the face of overwhelming allegations of sex abuse and sexual exploitations of civilians against UN peacekeeping missions in conflict zones all around the world.

Under United Nations peacekeeping rules, it is up to the country contributing troops to the mission to take disciplinary action against their nationals in cases of misconduct in peacekeeping missions.

That has led to complaints that peacekeepers have not been held accountable in their countries for sexual abuse and exploitation of civilians while serving under the UN flag.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres has vowed to toughen the response to allegations of misconduct by the peacekeepers.

Last month, the Security Council adopted a US-drafted resolution aimed at reinforcing measures such as repatriating peacekeepers and withholding UN payments to soldiers involved in misconduct.

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