Policing the United Nations
The BBC reports on evidence of a UN cover-up of the activities of some of its peacekeepers in the Republic of Congo.
- Pakistani peacekeepers in the eastern town of Mongbwalu were involved in the illegal trade in gold with the FNI militia, providing them with weapons to guard the perimeter of the mines.
- Indian peacekeepers operating around the town of Goma had direct dealings with the FDLR, the militia responsible for the Rwandan genocide, which is now living in eastern Congo.
Indian soldiers traded gold with these killers, bought drugs from them and - astonishingly - flew a UN helicopter into the Virunga National Park, where they exchanged ammunition for ivory. These allegations are contained in the report of an investigation dated February 2008.
The UN looked into the allegations concerning the Pakistanis. It concluded that whilst one major had been responsible for dealing in gold - allowing traders to use UN aircraft to fly into the town, putting them up at the UN base and taking them around the town but "in the absence of corroborative evidence", the investigators "could not substantiate the allegation" that Pakistani peacekeepers supplied weapons or ammunition to the militia.
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