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A shocking report has been shared which reveals that UN peacekeepers from a dozen countries have fathered and abandoned thousands of children in DRC since 1999.


The reports further claims that the soldiers and police operating under the UN mandate in the Democratic Republic of Congo raped young women, abused children, and traded food for sex. 


According to the report, one victim was 10 years old when she was trafficked by her aunt to satisfy the sexual desire of UN peacekeepers who seduced her with beer before they raped and got her pregnant.


Mail Online reported that a large portion of the dead beat fathers were from South Africa and Tanzania. The rest were from Bangladesh, Nepal, Morocco and Uruguay. 


The dead beat fathers were in Congo as pilots, soldiers, photographers, cooks, doctors, drivers and officers. 


The UN Peacekeepers first arrived in Congo in 1999 as part of a deal to stop second  war in DRC. The country had been at war with her neighbors Namibia, Uganda, Angola, Zimbabwe and Rwanda and had many rebel movements. 


The Conversation reports that sexual exploitation and abuse became a serious issue after the UN troops landed in Congo. 


The research was conducted by researchers from University of Birmingham who interviewed many children aged between 6 and 19 as well as their mothers. A total of 2,858 interviews were conducted out of which 1,182 people raised unprompted the issues of children abandoned by the UN peacekeepers.


Mothers of these children were often stigmatized and rejected by their families and their communities. The resulting children grew in poverty, exclusion, want and neglect. 

In 2005, Prince Zeid Raad Al-Hussein, the Special Adviser of the UN Secretary General, acknowledged that ‘many victims, especially those who have ‘peacekeeper babies’ and have been abandoned by the fathers, are in desperate financial situation[s]’


One of the researchers said that: ‘The DRC remains one of the poorest and most conflict-ridden countries in the world.


‘The duration and size of the peacekeeping mission there suggests there are significant numbers of children born as a result of sexual abuse.


‘There are potentially thousands of children left behind by peacekeepers in the DRC,’ the researcher added.


‘Part of the problem is that some of those deployed seem to be treating these missions as an opportunity for sex tourism and sexual crimes that they are unlikely to commit in their home countries.’


Most women interviewed described their sexual contact with UN troops as ‘transactional’, according to one researcher. It involved trading food, money and clothing  with sometimes plans for the members of UN troops to pay school fees for the girls in return for sex.


‘Some women engaged in sex because they wanted a cellphone or a new hairdo or new shoes. That is different from women having sex because they need food to live, what is called survival sex,’ the researcher added. 


The research focused on children who were left without fathers.  


‘I never go to school. I have no food support and even when I do get food, I start thinking about my mother, who is living abroad, and my father, who I have never seen,’ said one 13-year-old. 


The UN peacekeeping operation should remember us who were left here in Kisangani. We are considered orphans.’


‘Over the past five years, we have taken action to prevent these wrongs, investigate alleged perpetrators including military contingents, and hold them accountable including through repatriation,” said a UN Peacekeeping spokesman.



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