|07KINSHASA36||2007-01-12 10:10:00||UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY||Embassy Kinshasa|
1. (U) This message provides an update on efforts by the UN
Mission to the Congo (MONUC) to combat trafficking in persons
(TIP) and sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) by peacekeepers
in the DRC (ref A). Post reported in July 2006 that
incidents of SEA by MONUC military and civilian staff were
much reduced over previous years (ref B).
2. (SBU) According to MONUC's Conduct and Discipline Team
(CDT) Chief Marie-Anne Marin, MONUC provided over 40,000
two-hour training sessions on combating TIP and SEA in 2006.
The MONUC Force Commander addressed the issues of TIP and SEA
with all contingent commanders every three months, and
Special Representative of the Secretary General William Swing
revisited the topics every six weeks with civilian staff. A
TIP/SEA hotline, website, and newsletter were established at
3. (SBU) Current planning focuses on increased welfare
activities (i.e., R&R trips, gyms) to help prevent future
incidents. MONUC's zero tolerance policy against the use of
prostitutes, any type of sexual activities with children, or
any sexually abusive or exploitative act remains in force.
Marin said less than 0.1 percent of all military and less
than 2 percent of all civilian mission employees were accused
of SEA violations in 2006.
4. (SBU) Post is aware of one serious incident potentially
involving MONUC peacekeepers since July 2006. In August,
media outlets reported the existence of a child (i.e., minors
younger than 18) prostitution ring involving peacekeepers and
DRC soldiers in South Kivu province. Investigations by MONUC
found that most patrons were Congolese soldiers. The MONUC
Force Commander declared the alleged brothels off-limits and
reinforced military police. Allegations were referred to the
Office of Internal Oversight Services, and investigations are
5. (SBU) The director of a leading South Kivu NGO that deals
with child prostitutes and victims of sexual violence told us
that MONUC's immediate response to the reports assuaged
community concern. He said he has received no further
reports involving MONUC personnel in the area.
6. (U) Post used local media sources, human rights reporting
by Congolese NGOs, and local contacts throughout 2006 to
assess MONUC TIP/SEA prevention effectiveness.