Part Three: Humanitarian Crises – UN Fails To Protect “At-Risk” Nations

To give credit where it is due, the United Nations started out with the best of intentions; with a mission set forth to prevent another holocaust and other crimes against humanity.

The time was the end of WWII, and the enormous task of convincing countries once at war to “Unite as One Nation” was accomplished by several leaders of humanity, and the UN Charter was born – a signed agreement of what constitutes humane treatment, equal rights, rules of war and international law.

Part One: Humanitarian Crises – Increased Exponentially In 2015.
Part Two: Humanitarian Crises – Crimes Against “At Risk” Children.

putin o reallyUnited Nations In Crisis

However, times have changed and on the 10th of this month UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon’s statements to the Security Council committee have lost their original potency:

Protecting civilians is an overarching responsibility involving all the critical functions of the United Nations: human rights, humanitarian, political and peacekeeping.

Today the past accomplishments of the United Nations has lost their shine, as has the UN lost its effectiveness. In fact, the UN committees have proven powerless in matters of serious crimes against humanity openly committed worldwide.

United Nations is no longer a cure for a sick world. Evidence is in the inhumanity we see around us; committed by the very same seated members of the United Nations we count on to protect us.

  1. The serious crimes committed by peacekeepers have gone unpunished.
  2. The war crimes by Saudi Arabia and Israel are accepted with impunity.
  3. The rise of Daesh, and the validation of their terrorist Islamic states.
  4. The barbaric and public punishments inflicted on children and women.

In this chapter I will cover humanitarian crisis number one:
Non-accountability of UN Peacekeeper crimes.

1. United Nations Peacekeepers

UN Peacekeepers are just as likely to inflict cruelty on the suppressed people they are charged with protecting, as the warring armies and extremists. Peacekeeping officers have been accused of engaging in serious criminal offenses such as sexual abuse, sex-trafficking, soliciting prostitutes, sexually abusing minors and forcing children into prostitution.

 UN peacekeepers north of Goma in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Reforms introduced over the past decade have failed to stamp out sex crimes by UN peacekeepers. Photograph: Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images
UN peacekeepers north of Goma in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Reforms introduced over the past decade have failed to stamp out sex crimes by UN peacekeepers.  (Photo: Yasuyoshi Chiba/ AFP/ Getty).

In November (2015), United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced he intends to start naming and shaming countries whose troops and police serving in UN peacekeeping missions face credible accusations of sexual abuse and exploitation.

This statement came a day after he took the unprecedented move of firing the head of the peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic over the handling of dozens of misconduct allegations. The latest, brought on Tuesday by Amnesty International against the mission’s police officers, included the indiscriminate killing of a teen and his father, and rape of the daughter, a twelve-year-old (12) girl.

“”Considering the gaps in the system for reporting, investigating and prosecuting sexual abuse allegations,” (US Ambassador Samantha) Power said, the number of actual allegations against peacekeepers “could be far worse”.” [01]

There is a reason for this increasing phenomenon.

In fact, the magnitude of sexual violence and exploitation committed by peacekeeping forces on local populations, together with the U.N. response to them, has become central topics for discussion and analysis for many.

It was previous UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, in November 2004, first pledged to eliminate the scourge of sexual abuse from the United Nations peacekeepers.

The United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) statistics from their 2005 report: from the one-hundred-fifty-five (152) peacekeeping personnel dismissed for misconduct, one-hundred-seventeen (117) were members of military contingents. Besides deciding on administrative penalties against the one-hundred-seventeen (117) military officers, the United Nations has no legal authority to bring up criminal charges or enforce prosecution.

All the United Nations can do is send the officer back to his troop-contributing country, “but it cannot ensure the prosecution of that person once they have returned home” (Murphy, 2006, p.532). Typically, the environment in which the U.N. personnel operate is one where there are weak and ineffective judicial and law enforcement structures, a collapsed economy and corrupt institutions.

All of these factors create chaos and disorder that consequently facilitate misconduct.

However, “while these conditions certainly foster situations in which sexual abuse occurs or in which the likelihood of sexual abuse may increase, a contributing factor is that peacekeepers commit these violations because they believe they can get away with it, wrote Muna Ndulo in her 2009 paper, “UN Responses to Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Women and Girls by Peacekeepers page 144.

The criminal liability of peacekeeping personnel, therefore, lies at the very core of successfully addressing the problem.

  • [a]s such, it enjoys the status, privileges and immunities of the Organization provided for in Article 105 of the UN Charter, and the UN Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the UN of 13 February 1946. UN staff members are appointed by the Secretary-General and they have the status of officials under the Convention, section 18 of which provides that officials are immune in respect of acts committed by them in their official capacity (pdf page 533).
  • In a similar note, Deen-Racsmany contends that “the SOFA provision on the exclusive criminal jurisdiction of the sending state over military members of national contingents (MMsNCs) constitutes a major obstacle in the way of ensuring the accountability of this category of persons for crimes and serious misconduct committed in peacekeeping operations(2011, page 350).

in addressing the sexual abuse problem is increased recognition of the importance of women’s role in peace processes, along with the importance of incorporating female perspectives in the general U.N. peace and security framework. An effort to do just that resulted in the 2000 U.N. Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. (pdf Resolution 1325).

However, when it comes to practice, analysts are ambivalent as to how successfully the resolution has been translated into the implementation of U.N. peacekeeping mandates. The report on the ten-year impact study on the implementation of UNSC Resolution 1325 states that while there has been significant progress in supporting women’s participation in political processes, “conflict related sexual violence as a deliberate strategy in areas of conflict still occurs with impunity” says United Nations in their 2010 report (pdf page 10).

In his meeting with UN Security Council last November, S.G. Ban Ki-moon said: “The UN lacks the power for criminal investigation and prosecution, which lets member states take whatever punitive action they choose against the troops they contribute. “In the most frustrating cases,” nothing is done at all.

““A failure to pursue criminal accountability for sexual crimes is tantamount to impunity, he said, saying countries must quickly investigate and hold its troops accountable.

“Ban also announced several UN measures now being implemented. They include strict timelines for completing investigations, setting up immediate response teams inside peacekeeping missions to handle allegations, and suspending payments to countries whose troops face credible allegations of misconduct.

“Since its creation in April 2014, the peacekeeping mission in Central African Republic says it has received fifty-seven (57) cases of misconduct, including eleven (11) allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse.” [02]

Yet, United Nations peacekeepers in the Central African Republic raped or sexually exploited at least eight women and girls between October and December 2015. Among the survivors are two 14-year-old girls, an 18-year-old and a 29-year-old woman who said peacekeepers gang-raped them:

The 18-year-old woman said that when she visited the Republic of Congo troop base near the airport in late 2015 seeking food or money, armed peacekeepers forced her into the bush and gang-raped her. “I didn’t want to have sex with them, but when I went to visit their base they took me into the bush,” she said. “There were three of them on me. They were armed. They said if I resisted they would kill me. They took me one by one.

A 14-year-old girl said that in November, two peacekeepers attacked her as she walked by the MINUSCA base at the airport. “The men were dressed in their military uniforms and had their guns,” she said. “I walked by and suddenly one of them grabbed me by my arms and the other one ripped off my clothes. They pulled me into the tall grass and one held my arms while the other one pinned down my legs and raped me. The soldier holding my arms tried to hold my mouth, but I was still able to scream. Because of that they had to run away before the second soldier could rape me.

Another 14-year-old girl said she was walking by the MINUSCA base at an old cotton factory in late December (2015) when a peacekeeper from the Democratic Republic of Congo attacked her. “I was on a path in the bush and had walked by the MINUSCA guards when a soldier jumped out at me. He was in a uniform like the other soldiers from the [Democratic Republic of the] Congo. He had his gun with him. He slapped me in the face and made me continue to walk on the path… We walked for a while, then he ripped off my clothes and used them to tie my hands behind my back. He threw me on the ground, placed his gun to the side and got on top of me to rape me. When he was done he just left. I had to put my clothes on and I went home.”

A 29-year-old woman who was raped in October 2015 by peacekeepers stationed in Bambari, Central African Republic. © 2015 Lewis Mudge/Human Rights Watch
A 29-year-old woman who was raped in October 2015 by peacekeepers stationed in Bambari, CAR. (Photo: © 2015 Lewis Mudge/ HRW).

A 29-year-old woman said that a soldier from the Democratic Republic of Congo raped her inside her home in October 2015. “I heard a knock on the door and I said I was busy. But a man said, “No, open the door…. I have come to see you.” I ignored it and thought a few minutes later that he had left. But as I finished washing he just came in. It was a MINUSCA soldier in a blue hat. I said, “What are you doing here?” and I told him to leave. But he forced himself on me and as he was stronger I had no choice.

UN Peacekeepers stationed in refugee camps are extorting sex from children and women in exchange for food or or money, as ongoing conflict has left the population desperate.

A 16-year-old girl said that a peacekeeper from the Republic of Congo who was based at the airport gave her food and money in exchange for sex from October to December (2015). She said that soldiers instigated sexual relationships with her when she and a friend went to the base to sell alcohol: “I met him when he was on guard duty at the airport. We had sex there. After that he would come to my hut.”

The girl said that when the conflict started in Bambari she had no choice but to move near the airport for her safety and that of a family member with a disability. Once there, she said she had no means to provide for herself and her relative and felt she had no option but to exchange sex for food and money.

An 18-year-old woman said that in November (2015) she exchanged sex for food and money with soldiers presumed to be from the Republic of Congo, who were based at the airport. Her friends, who were already trading sex for basic supplies, and a family member encouraged her to approach the contingent because her family had “problems of food and money.” She said that her friends told her, “Instead of staying in your situation you should go with the Congolese so they will give you money to feed your family.

It has been over a decade since the UN Secretary General holding office had promised to bring the crimes of Peacekeepers to justice – and NOTHING has improved, on the contrary, along with the increase in armed conflict, comes with it an increase in Peacekeeper sexual crimes and abuse. The troop-contributing country of the accused is STILL solely responsible for carrying out judicial proceedings against soldiers who commit sexual exploitation and rape.

It is 2016 and the United Nations is still powerless to enforce that justice is served.

In a country where armed groups routinely prey on civilians, peacekeepers should be protectors, not predators,” said Hillary Margolis, women’s rights researcher at Human Rights Watch.

Sending peacekeepers back home is not enough. The UN needs to insist that troops’ home countries bring rapist and other abusers to justice, and that survivors get the support they need.

Human Rights Watch documented the eight (8) cases of sexual exploitation and abuse by UN peacekeepers, known as MINUSCA, during research in Bambari between January 16 and 30, 2016. [03]

In this chapter of my report I have focused on the region of Africa for purpose of examples of these crimes, however, almost every vulnerable nation is at risk from the abuses of UN Peacekeepers, so many in fact, it would require several chapters to cover the global epidemic of Peacekeeper’s abuse of their power and position over the people’s poverty, or vulnerability of living in refugee camps.

This type of abuse of a Peacekeeper’s position is especially heinous for this very fact – the people they abuse are already suffering terrible physical and mental health trauma before being attacked; and the insidious instigation of children reduced to prostitution to keep their families alive – these crimes against humanity should be treated with zero-tolerance.

I saydouble shame on the United Nations’ Secretary General, and triple shame on its seated leaders of inhumanity. 


Part One: Humanitarian Crises – Increased Exponentially In 2015.
Part Two: Humanitarian Crises – Crimes Against “At Risk” Children.
Part Four: The following chapters of this report will follow shortly. 

Please send inquiries and permission to re-blog this article to, thank you.

We welcome comments and conversation. Scroll down page to use the comment box.

Congo: Mass Grave Evidence Family Was Murdered by Peacekeepers

Soldiers from the Republic of Congo killed at least 18 people, including women and children, between December 2013 and June 2015 while serving as peacekeepers in the Central African Republic.

A mass grave recently discovered near a peacekeeping base in Boali, and exhumed on February 16, 2016, uncovered the remains of twelve people, who have since been identified as the families who were forced into the back of trucks and taken into detention by the peacekeepers back in March 2014. That was the last anyone saw them alive.

On June 2, 2014, Human Rights Watch published information about the enforced disappearance of these victims in Boali, calling for action by AU authorities under whose auspices the peacekeeping mission was deployed. The following month, the MISCA force commander temporarily suspended the commanding officers from Boali and Bossangoa, Captain Abena and Captain Mokongo, and men under their command were redeployed to other parts of the country.

Two years after Human Rights Watch first reported on enforced disappearances by peacekeepers from the Republic of Congo, their government has taken no action toward credible investigations or justice for these crimes, said Human Rights Watch in their report.

Lewis Mudge, Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch.
Lewis Mudge, Human Rights Watch. (Photo:

The exhumation of the bodies refutes the peacekeepers’ previous claim that the victims had escaped”.

Under the status of mission agreement between the Central African government and the AU, troop-contributing countries are responsible for holding to account members of their forces for any crimes committed in the Central African Republic.

On July 4, 2014, Human Rights Watch wrote to the foreign minister of the Republic of Congo informing him of the findings and to El Ghassim Wane, then the AU Peace and Security Department director, urging investigations and accountability for the crimes. There was no response.

The discovery of 12 bodies is damning evidence of an appalling crime by Congolese peacekeepers, who had been sent to protect people, not prey on them,” said Lewis Mudge, Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch.

Republic of Congo authorities shouldn’t turn a blind eye to the mounting evidence that their soldiers committed murder in Boali and elsewhere.

These crimes took place while the peacekeepers served in the African Union (AU) peacekeeping mission, known as MISCA, and in the United Nations peacekeeping mission, known as MINUSCA.

  • Following the exhumation of the grave, Human Rights Watch wrote to President Denis Sassou Nguesso of the Republic of Congo and to the AU urging credible investigations to bring those responsible to justice. (Read the letter)

The bodies were badly decomposed, but their clothing and other distinctive items identified the victims as members of a group of at least 12 people the Congolese peacekeepers arrested on March 24, 2014. Those arrested had subsequently disappeared.

Human Rights Watch investigated the disappearances in Boali four times between May 2014 to April 2016. Human Rights Watch informed both UN and government authorities of the presumed location of the grave, which was about 500 meters from a MINUSCA peacekeeping base.

Yet AU peacekeepers, UN peacekeepers, and national authorities made no effort to protect the site, or to conduct a forensic exhumation to preserve evidence for future judicial proceedings.


Angered by the death of their colleague, the Congolese peacekeepers surrounded the anti-balaka leader’s house, arrested him and at least 12 others, including five women, one of whom was six months pregnant, and two children, one about 10-years-old and the other seven-months old.

Witnesses told Human Rights Watch that the detainees were taken to the peacekeeping base at about 7 p.m. and confined in villa number 6, used by a commander identified by witnesses as Captain Abena.

The peacekeepers ordered civilians who lived at or near the base to go inside their homes.

One witness said:They came and yelled at us, ‘Go into your homes and lock the doors! Do not come out!’ They were very angry. It was the first and only time they had made us lock ourselves into our homes like that, it was not normal.”

Later that night, witnesses heard screams and a volley of gunshots from an area near the villa on the other side of the road, followed about an hour later by another round of gunfire from the same location. One witness said he overheard a heated debate among the Congolese peacekeepers between the two rounds of shooting about whether to kill the women and children, followed by the second round of gunfire.

In September 2014, when the United Nations took over peacekeeping responsibility from the AU, UN officials insisted that all existing Congolese peacekeepers be rotated out of the Central African Republic and replaced with new soldiers to ensure that none of those responsible for the abuses became part of the UN mission.

In March 2015, UN human rights investigators investigated the crimes committed by peacekeepers in Boali and in Bossangoa. On June 5, 2015, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights released a statement confirming the Human Rights Watch findings and said that “MISCA’s Congolese contingent has committed acts of enforced disappearance, torture and extrajudicial killings.

The UN sent a number of diplomatic communications to the Congolese government in Brazzaville urging judicial investigations into the serious allegations. Little or no action was taken either by the AU or the Congolese government.

MINUSCA’s mandate includes providing support to the national police and judicial institutions. While prosecutorial jurisdiction for crimes committed by the peacekeepers lies with the Republic of Congo, in the absence of any action by Congolese judicial authorities, national authorities in the Central African Republic with support from the United Nations should begin their own investigations to seek accountability for the crimes, Human Rights Watch said.

On February 4, 2016, Human Rights Watch also published a report on sexual exploitation and abuse of women and girls by Republic of Congo peacekeepers, among others, in Bambari from mid-September to mid-December 2015.

The AU, the UN, and judicial authorities in both Congo and the Central African Republic should work together to ensure there is full accountability for these crimes and to prevent such crimes from happening again, Human Rights Watch said.

Simply rotating troops out of the Central African Republic with no further consequences sends the message that peacekeepers can get away with murder,” Mudge said. “No peacekeeper should be above the law.


Summary Executions in Boali by MISCA – 2014

On March 24, 2014, Congolese peacekeepers went to investigate shots they heard coming from the home of an anti-balaka leader known as “General” Maurice Konoumo. (In June 2014, Human Rights Watch erroneously reported Konoumo’s name as Mokono). When the peacekeepers tried to confiscate the weapon, Konoumo, who was drunk, refused to hand it over and a violent argument broke out. A respected local Catholic priest intervened to help calm the situation.

Shortly afterward, a group of anti-balaka fighters attacked a MISCA vehicle near Boali’s central market, throwing a grenade and opening fire with automatic weapons. The attack killed one Congolese peacekeeper and wounded four others.

Following the ambush, a group of approximately 20 MISCA soldiers surrounded Konoumo’s compound and rounded up 13 people they found at the house:

  1. Konoumo;
  2. his pregnant 21-year-old wife, Laurene Mombassa;
  3. his 18-year-old son, Grace-a-Dieu Konoumo;
  4. his son’s wife, Ingrid Konoumo, a 16-year-old Muslim survivor of an anti-balaka massacre whom Konoumo had forced into marriage with his son;
  5. his brother, Antoine Konoumo;
  6. an anti-balaka fighter, Richard Selebangue;
  7. his 20-year old wife, Marie-Sandrine Selebangue;
  8. Jaline, a 17-year-old female anti-balaka fighter;
  9. Gbaguene, an anti-balaka fighter;
  10. a friend from Bobissa, Jean Bruno Wilita;
  11. Wilita’s wife, Marie Wilita, with
  12. her 7-month-old baby;
  13. and Derek Yawete, a 10-year-old boy visiting from Bogangolo.

The Congolese peacekeepers took the detainees to their base at ENERCA and held them at Captain Abena’s villa. The peacekeepers ordered all civilians who lived at or near the base to go inside their homes.

A witness said:

I argued with the MISCA and I said, “How can you tell me to go to my house?” But a friend said, “No, this seems serious, do not argue about this.”

I saw a vehicle go down into the camp with people in it. I could not see who it was, but the people were civilians. They were not MISCA soldiers. We stayed inside for a few hours, then around 11 p.m. we heard many shots and screams coming from near the Captain’s villa. An hour later I heard another volley of shots.

We heard the discussion between the volleys as to whether to kill the women and children.

Around 1:00 a.m. I saw their vehicles driving through the camp.

After the execution, the Congolese peacekeepers cleaned their truck with water from a pump near their villas, said witnesses Human Rights Watch interviewed in June 2015.

The next morning there was blood everywhere around the pump,” one witness said. Another witness said: “Even today there is still human hair near the pump.”

On June 3, 2014, after Human Rights Watch published its report on the disappearances, the AU issued a news release saying it had opened an investigation into the allegations and based on its findings would “take the required action in accordance with the rules governing the functioning of MISCA.”

No information about this investigation has ever been made public.

In March 2015, AU officials told Human Rights Watch that a report had been drafted, but they were not at liberty to disclose its contents or conclusions. When UN human rights investigators in March 2015 investigated the crimes committed by peacekeepers in Boali and in Bossangoa, they confirmed that MISCA’s Congolese contingent had committed enforced disappearance, torture and extrajudicial killings.

Discovery of the Grave

The local non-governmental organization exhumed the grave on February 16, 2016 in the exact location indicated by the accounts given to Human Rights Watch. Local residents informed the organization, whose responsibilities include removing corpses from wells and other water sources, about the mass grave, and the group received permission for the exhumation from local authorities. The exhumation took place in the presence of local authorities, including a representative of the national police, who described the exhumation in his police report as one of “anti-balaka [who] were kidnapped by MISCA, killed and buried here.” No forensic experts were present.

The exhumation revealed 12 skulls, clothes that matched the individuals who had been reported missing in 2014, and a number of anti-balaka amulets that had been worn by the general and his fighters.

Those present at the exhumation said they did not believe the baby’s skull was found, although one of the skulls, significantly smaller than the rest, was thought to be that of a 10-year-old boy.

New graves dug on the outskirts of Boali, Central African Republic, for the remains of at least 12 people murdered by Republic of Congo peacekeepers on March 24, 2014. The victims’ remains were uncovered in a mass grave near the peacekeeping base in February 2016. © 2016 Lewis Mudge/Human Rights Watch
New graves dug on the outskirts of Boali, Central African Republic, for the remains of at least 12 people murdered by Republic of Congo peacekeepers on March 24, 2014. The victims’ remains were uncovered in a mass grave near the peacekeeping base in February 2016. (Credit: © 2016 Lewis Mudge/ HRW).

An individual who took part in the exhumation told Human Rights Watch: The bodies were buried on top of each other, almost in layers. I think they had been killed first before they were put into the grave because they had just been thrown one on top of the other.”

Another said:We first found gris-gris(traditional amulets associated with the anti-balaka), then some clothes, and then the bodies.” One person who took part in the exhumation, a former anti-balaka fighter from Boali, recognized Maurice Konomou’s jacket.

After the exhumation, the bodies were moved to new graves approximately two kilometers outside of Boali in an isolated location.

In April 2016 one of Konomou’s relatives told Human Rights Watch:

We have not forgotten what has happened. We want the MISCA soldiers to face justice. The people who are dead could have helped their families had they not been killed. We want a real investigation done, we are not satisfied with the investigation thus far. It is like the Central African Republic is nothing to the African Union. I sometimes think, “What if justice could be done? What would it look like if a real investigation was done?”


Torture and Killings in Bossangoa by MISCA – 2013

On December 22, 2013, Congolese peacekeepers tortured to death two anti-balaka leaders in Bossangoa following the brutal lynching of a Congolese peacekeeper the same day. The incident, was first reported on by Human Rights Watch in June 2014, although it was witnessed by many local UN staff members and aid workers who were staying at the MISCA base at the time for their safety.

Locked in a staff room during the incident, the UN staff and aid workers overheard the Congolese peacekeepers torturing the two men throughout the night.

Their mutilated bodies were found the next day and seen by many witnesses who confirmed that the two men suffered extensive burns and saw evidence that burning melting plastic had been dripped on their bodies.

Executions in Mambéré by MISCA – 2014

On February 26, 2014, Congolese peacekeepers in Mambéré killed two anti-balaka fighters known as “Palasie” and “Court Pied,” at the town’s main crossroads in front of a large crowd of onlookers. Witnesses interviewed by Human Rights Watch April 2016 said that Congolese peacekeepers told them the two men had been captured the day before in the village of Bambio.

One witness who watched the executions said:

I saw two men with their hands tied behind their backs. There was a large group of people watching, maybe 200. All of the people were curious to see them. They forced the men to lay down on the ground. The MISCA commander took one of his soldier’s guns and he killed them…We were all shocked by what we saw. I had never seen someone killed like that.

Another witness said the peacekeepers encouraged people to watch the public execution yelling, “These are anti-balaka, we will kill them.

The witness said, that when a crowd had gathered, “the peacekeepers forced the two men out of their truck, made them lie down on the ground, and then shot them in the head and chest.

After the execution, the peacekeepers forced local residents to bury the bodies saying “If you do not bury these bodies right now we will kill three times as many people.

The residents buried the bodies in the cemetery behind the gendarmerie.


Excessive Use of Force and Killings in Mambéré by MINUSCA – 2015

On June 10, 2015, UN Congolese peacekeepers based in Mambéré detained and beat four men, two of whom later died from their injuries.

Based on Human Rights Watch research conducted in April 2016, peacekeepers detained the men because of a dispute about a woman between a peacekeeper and one of the victims. Human Rights Watch found no information to corroborate that the men had been involved in criminal activities, as MINUSCA alleged in a news release on June 10.

Three of the men – Alban Nambokinena, Kouvo Befio, and Douala Bakiko were neighbors. Witnesses said they were taken from their homes in the early hours of June 10 and severely beaten as they were arrested.

Nambokinena said:

I heard a knock on my door around 4 a.m. and I opened it. There were the MINUSCA in military uniforms with their blue helmets.

At first I thought that maybe this was for some work so I went outside, but the MINUSCA grabbed me and started to beat me there in front of my house. At the same time, they pulled my neighbor Kouvo out of his house and started beating him too. They were kicking and beating us with their rifles.

I knew that I had not done anything so I was yelling, “What did I do?” They were just beating me and speaking to each other in their own language.

Another witness, a friend of the arrested men, said: “When I saw the men put into the truck I tried to follow, but the MINUSCA pointed their guns at me and said, ‘If you follow us we will kill you.’ I just went into my house and cried.”

Together with a fourth person, Bernard Lamaye, the men were taken to the Congolese MINUSCA base at an area called “scierie” – a timber processing center – where the beatings continued for hours.

Nambokinena said: 

When we arrived at the scierie, they really started to beat us seriously there out in the open. They did something they called “operation helicopter.” It was like this: four men would each grab a hand or leg. Then they threw us up as high as they could. We came down and landed on planks, they would kick us as we fell.

They were trying to break our bodies. I did not really hear what they were saying because the Congolese were speaking between themselves. They weren’t asking questions. They did not interrogate us or tell us to admit to something, they just beat us. They gave me the “operation helicopter” four times. I can’t tell you how it hurt my neck, back, and head. After some time I did not feel any pain though. I thought my back was going to break in two, I really thought that was happening.

Finally, when I could not feel anything, the commander said, “Ok, that is enough put them in the container.” This was maybe around 6 a.m. because the sun was coming up.

The men were locked in an old shipping container. Within hours one of the men, Douala, died from his injuries. Another, Befio, fell into a comma.

Nambokinena said:

We started to cry. We called for the MINUSCA. A guard yelled, “Stop it! Don’t cry!” We said, “No, one of ours is dead!” The guard said, “If we open the door and we see someone is not dead, you will suffer.” But they opened the door and a MINUSCA soldier came in. He saw that Douala was dead. He saw straight away.

On learning about the death, the peacekeepers took the remaining three men to the hospital in Berberati, 125 kilometers from Mambéré. Witnesses said they saw the men being carried to the MINUSCA truck. One witness said, “It was clear they could not walk.

The peacekeepers told hospital staff the men were thieves. Hospital staff and local officials said they recognized the men, knew them to be from Mambéré and did not believe they were criminals. Medical staff members said that Befio was in a coma when he arrived at the hospital. He died on June 14, 2015.

The day after Befio’s death, MINUSCA flew the two survivors to Bangui, the capital and took them by MINUSCA ambulance to a local hospital. Local authorities gave each one 50,000 francs (approximately US $85).

Under normal procedures, suspected criminals are transferred to Bangui by MINUSCA’s police force, UNPOL, at the request of national or local prosecutors and handed over to national authorities. In this case, the national prosecutor told Human Rights Watch he was not aware of any request from his office to transport the two survivors to Bangui.

Once they recuperated, the men left the hospital.  They were not charged or given any other assistance. “We were quickly forgotten,” one said. After a month in Bangui, the men ran out of funds and hitchhiked back to Mambéré.

Nambokinena said:

If I am accused of a crime let them come arrest me. It is the MINUSCA who committed a crime. I have not recovered from this. I have pain in my neck, back, and hips. I have tried to work, but it has been difficult because my job is to move heavy wood onto trucks. I now need to ask someone to take my place because my job was so physical and you need to be strong.

I don’t have the money to see a doctor. When I make a little money I get a doctor to give me medicine which will give me the strength to move around. It is difficult to move around too much and I now get bad headaches.

I think about what happened to me a lot. I am traumatized. When I see the Congolese in town I remember what happened. The population is still scared of the Congolese because of this.

  • I have two children and my life has changed for the worse.
  • I can’t feed my kids like before.
  • I don’t have the strength to work as I did.
  • I now make less than half of what I used to make because my health has been affected.
  • For all my troubles I was only given that 50,000 francs and I used it all in Bangui on medicine.

Twenty Congolese peacekeepers from the unit in Mambéré were repatriated after these killings. Human Rights Watch is not aware that any soldier has been held to account for the killings and serious beatings.

MINUSCA investigated the incident in 2015 and sent the results to the government of the Republic of Congo via a diplomatic note. To the best of Human Rights Watch’s knowledge there has been no response.

In April 2016 MINUSCA opened an internal investigation, known as a Board of Inquiry, into the incident. The Board of Inquiry will report on the internal procedures of MINUSCA and how the mission reacted.


Human Rights Watch Urgently Needs Your Donations. to donate.

Human Rights Watch: Central African Republic: Murder by Peacekeepers.

We welcome comments and conversations. Scroll to bottom of page to use the comment box.

🍁 CDN: Canada’s Diplomatic Role With The United Nations

The United Nations officially came into being on October 24, 1945. By that date a majority of the 50 countries that had signed the UN Charter in San Francisco on June 26, 1945, had ratified it in their national parliaments. The UN replaced the League of Nations, which had been created by the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. Currently, there are 193 member states. 

Lester B. Pearson. (Photo: Toronto Star MIKAN). (Alistair Reign News Blog
Lester B. Pearson. (Photo: Toronto Star).

The United Nations Peacekeeping began in 1948. Its first mission was in the Middle East to observe and maintain the ceasefire during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Since then, United Nations peacekeepers have taken part in a total of 63 missions around the globe, 17 of which continue today. The peacekeeping force as a whole received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1988.

Canada is one of the founding members of the United Nations.

Lester Bowles “Mike” Pearson was a Canadian scholar, statesman, soldier and diplomat, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1957 for organizing the United Nations Emergency Force to resolve the Suez Canal Crisis. He was the 14th Prime Minister of Canada from April 22, 1963 to April 20, 1968.

Seven Canadian diplomatic missions are accredited to the UN.

  1. The Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations in New York
    Responsible for overall relations with the United Nations and delegations of member countries, including the Security Council, the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, UNDP, UNICEF, and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations.
  2. The Permanent Mission of Canada to the Office of the United Nations in Geneva
    Responsible for relations with all UN offices in Geneva and delegations of member countries, including entities such as the World Health Organization, the International Labour Organization, the High Commissioner for Refugees, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, or forums such as the Human Rights Council and the Conference on Disarmament.
  3. The Permanent Delegation of Canada to UNESCO in Paris
    Responsible for Canada’s relations with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
  4. The Permanent Mission of Canada to International Organisations in Vienna
    Responsible for relations with the UN offices in Vienna, including the International Atomic Energy Agency.
  5. The Permanent Mission of Canada to the Office of the United Nations in Nairobi
    Responsible for relations to the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (UN-HABITAT) and to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
  6. The Permanent Mission of Canada to the FAO in Rome
    Responsible for relations with the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Food Programme, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development.
  7. The Permanent Mission of Canada to the ICAO in Montreal
    Responsible for relations with the International Civil Aviation Organization


Please send inquiries and permission to re-blog this article to, thank you.

🍁 CDN: Ban Ki-moon Meeting With Trudeau In Canada

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced that the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, His Excellency, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, will be in Ottawa and Montréal on a working visit, from February 11 to 13, 2016.

Canada is an active and committed member of the United Nations – not only because the UN provides essential support to millions of people in need – but also because it serves Canada’s interests. A more peaceful world is a safer and more prosperous world for Canada, too.

During the Secretary-General’s visit, Canada will reaffirm its commitment to the UN, to effective cooperation, and to renewed leadership on the world stage. The Prime Minister will highlight Canadian engagement on a number of key global issues, including: climate change and climate finance; the situation in Syria, Iraq, and surrounding countries; refugee resettlement; and the health of women and children around the world.

The Prime Minister and the Secretary-General will also meet with Canadian youth and discuss the importance of building diverse and resilient societies that promote peace and broad-based economic growth.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (R) shakes hands with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as he arrives for the opening of the UN conference on climate change COP21, on November 30, 2015 at Le Bourget, on the outskirts of the French capital Paris. More than 150 world leaders are meeting under heightened security, for the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21/CMP11), also known as Paris 2015 from November 30 to December 11. (AFP PHOTO / POOL / LOIC VENANCE / AFP / POOL / LOIC VENANCE)
PM Trudeau shakes hands with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the opening of the COP21 in Paris. 11/30/2015.  (AFP: LOIC VENANCE).


Secretary-General Ban has made invaluable contributions to the UN, in particular in spearheading real action on climate change and sustainable development, and in bringing global attention to key humanitarian crises. We are honoured that Mr. Ban has accepted our invitation to visit Canada so early in the government’s mandate.

– Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

If we are to build a more peaceful and prosperous world – a world where our diversity is seen as a strength– then a strong United Nations is essential. Canada is proud of the part it has played in the UN’s successes, from protecting human rights to peacekeeping. I want to restore Canada’s voice and leadership role at the UN.

– Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

Quick Facts

  • Secretary-General Ban will also meet with Governor General David Johnston, prior to his visit to Montréal on February 12.
  • In Montréal, the Secretary-General will meet with the Premier of Quebec, M. Philippe Couillard, and the Mayor of Montréal, M. Denis Coderre.
  • He will deliver an address at McGill University, and meet with the Secretary-General and President of the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a UN specialized agency based in Montréal, and other UN staff based in the city.
  • Mr. Ban will be accompanied by his wife, Mrs. Ban Soon-taek.

🍁 Press Release: Prime Minister of Canada.