Allegations of Abuse by Members of SANDF in DRC

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

FOR ORAL REPLY

QUESTION NO 14

QUESTION TIME: 08 SEPTEMBER 2004 - WRITTEN QUESTION NO 390 TRASNFERRED FOR ORAL REPLY, PUBLISHED IN THE INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO 8 OF 06 AUGUST 2004

MOULANA M R SAYEDALI-SHAH (DA) TO THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS:

(1) Whether her department has been informed or taken note of allegations that members of the SA National Defence Force serving on the United Nations peacekeeping force in the Democratic Republic of Congo sexually abused children in that country; if so, what are the relevant details;

(2) Whether an official in her department has been in contact with the relevant authorities in the United Nations regarding these allegations; if not, why not; if so, (a) what is the name and position held by the official and (b) what were his or her findings;

(3) Whether a South African representative is assisting the UN with the investigation into the allegations; if not, what role does South Africa intend playing in this investigation; if so, what are the relevant details;

(4) Whether any evidence has been found substantiating allegations of SANDF members' involvement in these abuses; if so what are the relevant details? N461E

REPLY:

(1) - (4)

The Department of Foreign Affairs is aware of the allegations made in the media against SANDF members serving in the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC).

When these allegations surfaced in various media reports, the Department of Foreign Affairs, through the National Office of the Co-ordination of Peace Missions (NCOPM), located within the Africa Branch of the Department contacted the MONUC Liaison Office in Pretoria and had discussions with Ambassador Bruno Pennaneach, the head of the office regarding the allegations.

Ambassador Pennaneach informed the NOCPM that the United Nations was aware of the allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse levelled at members of MONUC. He stressed that the United Nations regarded these allegations in an extremely serious light, to the extent that an independent team from the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (UNDPKO) has been sent to Bunia, in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to investigate these allegations. Presently, the UNDPKO team is in Bunia conducting its investigations. In this regard the UNDPKO cannot release any information until their investigations have been concluded.

It should be noted that at the time that all the allegations pertaining to sexual exploitation and abuse in Bunia were reported in the media, there were only ten South African National Defence Force (SANCDF) members stationed in that town. All ten are members of the Military Police (MP) detachment deployed in Bunia. Furthermore, all ten are presently assisting MONUC with regard to 'preventive and deterrence patrols' so as to ensure that further incidents do not occur.

END


NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

FOR ORAL REPLY

QUESTION NO 14

QUESTION TIME: 08 SEPTEMBER 2004 - WRITTEN QUESTION NO 390 TRASNFERRED FOR ORAL REPLY, PUBLISHED IN THE INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO 8 OF 06 AUGUST 2004

MOULANA M R SAYEDALI-SHAH (DA) TO THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS:

(1) Whether her department has been informed or taken note of allegations that members of the SA National Defence Force serving on the United Nations peacekeeping force in the Democratic Republic of Congo sexually abused children in that country; if so, what are the relevant details;

(2) Whether an official in her department has been in contact with the relevant authorities in the United Nations regarding these allegations; if not, why not; if so, (a) what is the name and position held by the official and (b) what were his or her findings;

(3) Whether a South African representative is assisting the UN with the investigation into the allegations; if not, what role does South Africa intend playing in this investigation; if so, what are the relevant details;

(4) Whether any evidence has been found substantiating allegations of SANDF members' involvement in these abuses; if so what are the relevant details? N461E

REPLY:

(1) - (4)

The Department of Foreign Affairs is aware of the allegations made in the media against SANDF members serving in the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC).

When these allegations surfaced in various media reports, the Department of Foreign Affairs, through the National Office of the Co-ordination of Peace Missions (NCOPM), located within the Africa Branch of the Department contacted the MONUC Liaison Office in Pretoria and had discussions with Ambassador Bruno Pennaneach, the head of the office regarding the allegations.

Ambassador Pennaneach informed the NOCPM that the United Nations was aware of the allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse levelled at members of MONUC. He stressed that the United Nations regarded these allegations in an extremely serious light, to the extent that an independent team from the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (UNDPKO) has been sent to Bunia, in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to investigate these allegations. Presently, the UNDPKO team is in Bunia conducting its investigations. In this regard the UNDPKO cannot release any information until their investigations have been concluded.

It should be noted that at the time that all the allegations pertaining to sexual exploitation and abuse in Bunia were reported in the media, there were only ten South African National Defence Force (SANCDF) members stationed in that town. All ten are members of the Military Police (MP) detachment deployed in Bunia. Furthermore, all ten are presently assisting MONUC with regard to 'preventive and deterrence patrols' so as to ensure that further incidents do not occur.

END




 

Quick Links

Disclaimer | Contact Us | HomeLast Updated: 13 September, 2004 11:37 AM
This site is best viewed using 800 x 600 resolution with Internet Explorer 5.0, Netscape Communicator 4.5 or higher.
2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa