The United Nations said today that Uruguay should conduct a full and thorough investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by its military personnel serving with the world body's peacekeeping mission in Haiti. Eduardo del Buey, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, said a preliminary probe carried out by the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) “determined that it was necessary to instigate a full and thorough investigation” into the alleged abuses committed in Port-Salut.
“Under the procedures agreed between the UN and troop-contributing countries, it is now the responsibility of the Government of Uruguay to conduct the investigation, with the full support of the UN,” he told reporters in New York. According to media reports, the incident in question involves the alleged rape of an 18-year-old Haitian man by Uruguayan peacekeepers. A video captured on a cell phone camera showing the alleged assault reportedly surfaced recently. The UN has imposed a zero-tolerance policy against sexual abuse and exploitation by its peacekeepers, and senior officials have reiterated in recent years that this means there is no impunity for blue helmets who engage in such practices. It is the responsibility of the troop-contributing country to take appropriate disciplinary and judicial measures if the allegations are found to be true.