On Jan. 23, the members of the United Nations Security Council will head to Haiti. It’s safe to assume that they will focus on the political crisis: because parliamentary elections were not held by Haiti’s legislative deadline, the current government, headed by President Michel Martelly, is now ruling by decree. It’s also safe to assume that the council will most likely sidestep cholera, a disease that UN peacekeepers transported to Haiti in 2010 that has killed more than 8,500 people. To date, the UN has not explained why UN peacekeepers fired on demonstrators just last month, in December.
And it’s almost a given that the council will not respond to the continuing problem of peacekeepers turned predators, the subject of the article that I worked on for more than a year and published in 100Reporters.
UN peacekeepers in this instance and others have acted with near impunity despite repeated reports and denunciations calling for change. The current secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, suppressed a November 2013 report by a commission of independent experts that traveled to the four countries where UN peacekeepers are responsible for the majority of these abuses: the Democratic Republic of tbe Congo, Haiti, Liberia and South Sudan. The lack of transparency of that report, intended to evaluate the risks of “sexual exploitation and abuse,” calls into question any real intent to hold the accused accountable.