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Forum Haiti : Des Idées et des Débats sur l'Avenir d'Haiti

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Forum Haiti : Des Idées et des Débats sur l'Avenir d'Haiti

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108 casques bleus accusés d'abus sexuels en HaïtiReuters - i

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Message  piporiko Ven 2 Nov 2007 - 18:45

NEW YORK (AFP) - Cent huit soldats sri-lankais de la force de l'ONU en Haïti vont être rapatriés pour avoir acheté des services sexuels, y compris auprès de mineures, a annoncé vendredi la porte-parole de l'ONU, Michèle Montas.

(Publicité)
Ces 108 soldats, membres du contingent sri-lankais de 950 hommes de la Mission des Nations unies pour la stabilisation en Haïti (Minustah), "seront rapatriés par mesure disciplinaire samedi", a déclaré Mme Montas lors d'un point de presse.

Elle a indiqué que la décision avait été prise "à la suite d'informations concernant des cas d'exploitation sexuelle et d'abus commis par des membres d'un bataillon sri-lankais de la Minustah dans plusieurs endroits d'Haïti".

Mme Montas a précisé que certaines des femmes haïtiennes impliquées dans le scandale étaient mineures.

La mesure disciplinaire a été prise à la suite d'un rapport d'enquête des services de contrôle internes de l'ONU (OIOS) et avec la coopération des autorités du Sri Lanka, a-t-elle dit.

C'est la Minustah qui avait réclamé l'enquête de l'OIOS et le Sri Lanka avait dépêché une équipe d'enquêteurs comprenant notamment une femme, a-t-elle ajouté.

"Les Nations unies et le Sri Lanka prennent cette affaire très au sérieux et réitèrent leur attachement commun à la politique de tolérance zéro du secrétaire général sur les questions d'exploitation et d'abus sexuels, ainsi qu'aux principes de bonne pratique en matière de maintien de la paix", a-t-elle conclu.

Les forces de maintien de la paix de l'ONU ont été frappées par plusieurs scandales similaires dans le passé, notamment en Côte d'Ivoire, en République démocratique du Congo et au Liberia.

L'ONU, accusée d'avoir négligé cette question pendant des années, a adopté en 2005 une politique dite "de tolérance zéro", prévoyant que les soldats convaincus de mauvaise conduite soient rapatriés et punis dans leurs pays d'origine. Elle a aussi mis l'accent sur une formation adéquate des soldats de la paix.

La plupart des quelque 100.000 troupes déployées dans les opérations de maintien de la paix onusiennes dans le monde ne peuvent pas être sanctionnées directement par l'ONU, ne répondant de leurs actes qu'à la hiérarchie de leur pays d'origine, soulignent les responsables onusiens.

Le Conseil de sécurité a renouvelé en octobre pour un an le mandat de la Minustah et l'a chargée d'aider la police du pays à lutter contre les trafics d'armes et de drogue.

Placée sous commandement brésilien, la Minustah, qui compte actuellement 7.054 militaires et 1.771 policiers, est présente depuis la mi-2004 en Haïti, pays de 8 millions d'habitants, le plus pauvre du continent américain, qui peine à se remettre de vingt ans de crises meurtrières.
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Message  piporiko Dim 4 Nov 2007 - 12:23

Rape by Sri Lankan troops resurfaces – in Haiti

[TamilNet, Sunday, 04 November 2007, 07:31 GMT]
The United Nations has asked Sri Lanka to prosecute ‘to the fullest extent of the law’ 108 Sri Lankan soldiers with the UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti for sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of minors, including prostitution, the Sunday Times reported. The number is one of the biggest single withdrawal of soldiers from a UN peacekeeping mission. During the conflict numerous local and international NGOs protested both frequent rapes by security forces and the climate of impunity in which they occur.
The charges against the Sri Lankan soldiers may include rape (which is constituted a "war crime" in the context of military conflicts) involving children under 18 years of age, the paper said.

The ejection of 108 out of Sri Lanka’s contingent of 950 for sex crimes highlights the frequency of rape during Sri Lankan operation in the Northeast during the decades long conflict.

In 2001, the year before a ceasefire ended the fighting, Amnesty International said it “has noted a marked rise in allegations of rape by [Sri Lankan] police, army and navy personnel.”

“Among the victims of rape by the security forces are many internally displaced women, women who admit being or having been members of the LTTE and female relatives of members or suspected male members of the LTTE,” Amnesty said.

“Reports of rape in custody concern children as young as 14,” Amnesty also said.

Amnesty said “to [our] knowledge, not a single member of the Sri Lankan security forces has been brought to trial in connection to incidents of rape in custody although one successful prosecution has been brought in a case where the victim of rape was also murdered.”

Also in 2001, Amnesty wrote to then Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga, “urging her to take action to stop rape by security forces andbring perpetrators to justice” in response to reports of rape by security forces “in Mannar,Batticaloa,Negombo and Jaffna.”

“To date, no response has been received to the appeal,” Amnesty later said in a special report titled “Sri Lanka: Rape in Custody” which was published in January 2002, just as the Norwegian brokered Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) came into being.

Earlier, in March 2000, the then United Nations Special Rapporteur on violence against women, Radhika Coomaraswamy, expressed her “grave concern” over the lack of serious investigation into allegations of gang rape and murder of women and girls by the Sri Lankan security forces.

In 2000, the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) protested that “Sri Lankan security forces are using systematic rape and murder of Tamil women to subjugate the Tamil population... Impunity continues to reign as rape is used as a weapon of war in Sri Lanka.”

Apart from the ejection of 108 Sri Lankan troops from Haiti, the actions Colombo takes against them would also determine whether the UN will deploy Sri Lankan soldiers in future peacekeeping operations, the Sunday Times said.

A UN source told the paper that the Department of Peacekeeping Operations would monitor what action the government proposed to take against the 108 soldiers who were part of a 950-member contingent from Sri Lanka.

"If they are found guilty, they should be punished for their crimes under the criminal justice system in the country," he said.

The UN would be very unhappy, he said, if only administrative and disciplinary actions were taken against the soldiers.

Asked how many soldiers would be repatriated, UN spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters Friday that all 108 soldiers would be repatriated on disciplinary grounds.

The total number is one of the biggest single withdrawal of soldiers from a UN peacekeeping mission.

Asked about the nature of the charges, a UN spokeswoman said the allegations were against members of the Sri Lankan battalion stationed in a variety of locations in Haiti, and were of a "transactional sex" nature.

She also acknowledged that they involved prostitution, including in some cases with minors.

In its 1999 annual report, Amnesty International, said rape of female detainees was used amongst a range of torture methods.

In a statement to the UN in 1998, the World Organisation against Torture observed: “Sri Lankan soldiers have raped both women and young girls on a massive scale, and often with impunity, since reporting often leads to reprisals against the victims and their families.”

“The consistent policy of rape and violence against Tamil women that we have documented for many years is a fundamental military tactic of the Sri Lankan forces,” International Educational Development, an NGO, also told the UN that year.

Human rights NGOs have frequently protested the impunity Sri Lankan soldiers enjoy regarding rapes and other abuses.

“Only one of the thousands of rapes which have been reported, has resulted in a conviction,” Pax Romana said.

“There also seems to be little point to expect justice on the basis of the constitution since the constitution itself provides the mechanisms and justifications for the commission of these war crimes and encourages impunity.”




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Message  piporiko Dim 4 Nov 2007 - 12:27

International

Part of Sri Lankan contingent in Haiti to be sent back



B. Muralidhar Reddy







COLOMBO: Embarrassed over revelations of alleged misconduct and sexual abuse by some of its forces that were part of the Sri Lanka peacekeeping contingent in Haiti, the government on Saturday said that in close consultation with the U.N., it would take appropriate disciplinary actions and prosecutions against the accused.

A statement by the government acknowledged that 110 of the 950-member-strong Sri Lanka peacekeeping contingent is being sent back after being implicated in alleged misconduct and sexual abuse while serving the United Nations Stabiliser Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).

“Following receipt of the preliminary report of the office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) in Haiti and consultations received from Sri Lankan authorities, all of those accused Sri Lankan members were to be recalled home in disciplinary grounds until investigations are over and alleged offenders are brought to book and prosecuted”, the government said.

Separately, a senior official of the Sri Lanka government told The Hindu that it has learnt about the arrest of the breakaway LTTE faction leader ‘Col. Karuna’ by the London police on charges of travelling on fake documents.

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