'Bangla peacekeepers guilty of using extreme force'
A UN investigation has found Bangladeshi peacekeepers, operating in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo, guilty of using excessive force against detainees.Updated: Jun 13, 2007 12:02 IST
A UN investigation has found Bangladeshi peacekeepers, operating in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo, guilty of using excessive force against detainees trying to escape from their control and has asked Dhaka to take action against the offenders.
"The UN has already conducted a number of inquiries into the allegations of mistreatment, including one by the UN Organisation Mission in the DRC (MONUC) that reached the finding of excessive force," chief spokesperson Michele Montas said.
MONUC chief William Lacy Swing announced last week that he has also asked the UN's Office for Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) to conduct a full probe into all detainees held by the Mission's Ituri Brigade which operated in the region of the same name in the northeast of the vast African country in 2005.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour has provided subsequent information that will be shared with the OIOS inquiry, Montas said.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed concern about the mistreatment by the Bangladeshis.
"As a matter of principle the peacekeepers must stand and work on the basis of the highest level of ethics and work standards," Ban said. "This is the ground principle of the UN, and I am going to closely follow this matter so that this kind of thing will not happen any more." Meanwhile, the UN internal watchdog is expected to finalise shortly the report on the inquiry it conducted into allegations that Pakistani troops serving in peacekeeping operations in the DRC trafficked in arms for gold in and thus helped rearm the militias groups they were expected to disarm.