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Press Trust Of India
United Nations, August 13, 2008
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday welcomed the Indian government's assurance that it would take "strict and exemplary" action against any member of the Indian peacekeeping contingent in Congo found to have engaged in sexual exploitation or abuse. The Indian assurance came in the light of United Nations Internal Oversight Services finding prime facie evidence that members of the one of the units with the Indian peace contingent previously assigned in the cuch a behaviour.

Ban said he was "deeply troubled" by the outcome of the investigation and such a behviour if substantiated is "wholly unacceptable."

He called for "disciplinary action to the maximum degree permitted by the Indian law" being taken as soon as possible against those found to be "involved in such a misconduct."

"The government of India has assured the UN that the allegations will be promptly and thoroughly investigated and, if proven, strict and exemplary action would be taken as per the law," a UN spokesman said.

The Secretary General, he said, values India's "long standing and valuable support" for the UN peacekeeping.

"He expresses his respect for all those peacekeepers from India and other troop contributing countries who serve with honour and commitment and stresses that the misconduct of a few should not diminish the enormous contribution and sacrifice of the large number of blue helmets who serve the cause of peace," the spokesman added.