Two years after exposing serious cases of sexual abuse of children by UN peacekeeping forces in Central African Republic, Anders Kompass has offered to resign as the field operations director at the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights over what he terms as UN’s failure to hold senior officials to account.
“The complete impunity for those who have been found to have, in various degrees, abused their authority, together with the unwillingness of the hierarchy to express any regrets for the way they acted towards me sadly confirms that lack of accountability is entrenched in the United Nations. This makes it impossible for me to continue working there,” Kompass told IRIN.
Kompass made headlines in 2014 when he passed a confidential internal report on sexual abuse of children in Central African Republic by French troops to French authorities after the UN allegedly failed to act on it.
UN’s Attempted Cover-up
Rather than investigating the reported crimes, the UN’s Internal Oversight Services office is said to have launched investigations into Anders Kompass, accusing him of leaking the report without following due process.
Senior UN officials are alleged to have condemned Mr. Kompass’s “misconduct” and humiliatingly kicked him out of office, demanding for his resignation.
The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon was pressured by international governments, including France, to form an independent investigative panel, which concluded that some UN top managers abused their authority in dealing with the sexual abuse scandal.
The panel in conjunction with the UN Internal Oversight Services committee exonerated the Swedish diplomat and criticized UN’s perceived hesitancy in handling the scandal, terming it “gross institutional failure.”
According to the report, UN peacekeeping troops were using food and other relief services to solicit sex from hungry children in M’Kopo Refugee Camp. Some of the children involved are said to be as young as eight years of age.
Last year, Ban Ki-Moon sacked his representative and head of MINUSCA (Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic Mr. Babacar Gaye, following repeated reports of murder and sexual abuse in CAR.
According to IRIN, Kompass decided to leak the damning report hoping that French authorities would be compelled to end cases of sexual abuse in the Central African nation as soon as possible.
Since 2012, the Central African Republic has been engulfed in conflict between government forces and Seleka rebels who continue to control much of the country.
More than 6,000 people have been killed and close to 400,000 others displaced since the conflict begun.