Corker Horrified by Allegations that UN Peacekeepers Failed to Protect Most Vulnerable

U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today released the following statement after the Associated Press reported that United Nations (U.N.) peacekeepers witnessed women and girls being raped outside a U.N. camp in Juba, South Sudan, and failed to act.

“I am horrified by allegations that U.N. peacekeepers witnessed women and girls being raped and failed to act,” said Corker.“The U.N. must get to the bottom of these reprehensible charges immediately, and if true, swift and forceful action must be taken.”

“The U.N. has shown a callous disregard for actions such as these, and we must use every tool available to end these abuses,” added Corker. “Our nation’s leadership at the U.N. must immediately use its influence to restore accountability and oversight of peacekeeping missions, which are being subsidized by American taxpayers. Peacekeepers continuing to fail to protect the most vulnerable, including when security forces use rape as a weapon of war on innocent civilians, fundamentally violates why they are there and must not be tolerated.”

Last month, Corker criticized U.N. leadership after whistleblower Anders Kompass resigned in protest over the U.N.’s failure to hold senior officials accountable for allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) by peacekeeping forces and efforts to silence those who revealed them.

Kompass’ former deputy, Miranda Brown, testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at a hearing on April 13 in which Corker expressed disgust over continued reports of SEA and the failure of the U.N. to provide accountability.

“If I heard right now that a U.N. peacekeeping mission was going to North Chattanooga today, which is where my wife is, I would be on the first plane out of here to go home and protect her,” Corker said at the April 13 hearing. “I am disgusted by the actions of U.N. peacekeepers that American taxpayers are paying for, and I hope that somehow we’ll figure out a way to reel this in.”

At an earlier hearing on December 9, 2015, Corker questioned U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power about the U.N. strategy to effectively address and prevent SEA. The 2017 State Department authorization bill passed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in April included provisions to encourage U.S. leadership at the U.N. to end SEA and protect whistleblowers.

Source: Bob Corker, U.S. Senator (R-Tenn.)