MONUSCO Mission in Congo
Report on victims of rape and their children
According to the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP), the increasing attacks on
MONUSCO bases in the Democratic Republic of Congo are hardly surprising. For years, there has been criticism of the costliest UN mission of all times – primarily because it is seen as inefficient. “Additionally, there are reports about rape and sexual exploitation of the local people,” stated Nadja Grossenbacher, STP expert on genocide prevention and the Responsibility to Protect. “The United Nations has known about this systemic problem for years. However, there were no effective consequences.”
A new research report of the University of Birmingham (published yesterday) focuses on the situation of the children born of rape committed by UN troops. Most of them have hardly any contact to their fathers – or no contact at all. Also, many were abandoned by their mothers, because the mothers are often stigmatized and ostracized by their families as well. “Sadly, we see this phenomenon in many conflicts. For children born of rape, the circumstances under which they were conceived cause lifelong suffering – and this is also true for the mothers,” Grossenbacher added. “What makes the case of MONUSCO especially hard to fathom is that the fathers – the perpetrators – are on the payroll of the UN. In most cases, they manage to go unpunished, avoiding the responsibility of providing financial support for their offspring.”
According to the report, the children tend to blame their fathers for their precarious life situations. Many of the children would like to get to know their fathers, to build up an emotional bond, get an explanations for the fathers’ wrongdoings, and to improve their economic situations. “First, however, the United Nations must ensure that the perpetrators are prosecuted. They have to provide financial support for their children – immediately,” Grossenbacher demanded. “It is to be assumed that the reputation of the MONUSCO Mission is damaged forever. It is time to give it a complete realignment and to reorganize it in terms of personnel. The people of the Democratic Republic of Congo
will not stop the attacks until the mission fulfils its purpose and brings more benefit than harm.