OP-ED for Eurasianet: EUFOR & Georgia peacekeeping missions in need of reform amid sexual abuse allegations

Recently Eurasianet, an online publication that covers the Caucasus and Central Asia, published my op-ed on the UN’s ongoing sexual abuse scandal. So far much of the debate has focused on the UN, neglecting that UN reform alone can only go so far in preventing sexual abuse. This is because over the last few decades the UN has become dramatically more dependent on cooperation with other security organizations, like the AU, NATO, and EUFOR to provide peacekeeping contingents for their missions. The UN’s jurisdiction often does not cover these other organizations, making UN reforms limited without their cooperation. In this respect, in addition to prosecuting individuals, the EU and Georgia also need to lead the way in implementing reform and sexual abuse training.

From the article:

“Allegations that Georgian peacekeepers raped teenage girls while serving in the Central African Republic should force Tbilisi, as well as the European Union, to rethink training methods aimed at reducing the risk of sexual abuse by soldiers on peacekeeping missions.
The UN announced January 28 that at least three girls between the ages of 14 and 16 told investigators that they had been raped in 2014 by Georgian peacekeepers stationed in the Central African Republic’s capital, Bangui. French soldiers also serving with the European Union Force, known as EUFOR, are alleged to have traded bottled water and cookies for sexual favors from a seven-year-old girl.

With the accusations already two years old, getting to the bottom of what actually happened could prove complicated. The Georgian contingent completed its peacekeeping mission last year, and an independent review of the Central African Republic case found that the UN had bungled its internal investigation.”

Read the full article on Eurasianet.

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