Anders Kompass, who worked as director of field operations at the UN human rights office, has resigned after the organization did not hold senior officials accountable for human rights abuses.
The UN suspended Kompass after he leaked a report that said French troops sexually abused children in the Central African Republic.
However, the UN never took action and Kompass decided “he could no longer work for an organisation with no accountability.” From The Guardian:
“The complete impunity for those who have been found to have, in various degrees, abused their authority, together with the unwillingness of the hierarchy to express any regrets for the way they acted towards me sadly confirms that lack of accountability is entrenched in the United Nations. This makes it impossible for me to continue working there.”
Last year, Kompass gave the French government the confidential UN report after officials did nothing to punish those involved, which took place in 2014. From The Guardian:
Entitled Sexual Abuse on Children by International Armed Forces and stamped “confidential” on every page, the report details the rape and sodomy of starving and homeless young boys by French peacekeeping troops who were supposed to be protecting them at a centre for internally displaced people in Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic.
The boys, some of whom were orphans, disclosed sexual exploitation, including rape and sodomy, between December 2013 and June 2014 by French troops at a centre for internally displaced people at M’Poko airport in Bangui.
The children described how they were sexually exploited in return for food and money. One 11-year-old boy said he was abused when he went out looking for food. A nine-year-old described being sexually abused with his friend by two French soldiers at the IDP camp when they went to a checkpoint to look for something to eat.
The child described how the soldiers forced him and his friend to carry out a sex act. The report describes how distressed the child was when disclosing the abuse and how he fled the camp in terror after the assault. Some of the children were able to give good descriptions of the soldiers involved.
One senior official had no problem with Kompass’s actions, but the organization suspended him anyway since he did not comply “with UN protocols on confidential documents.”
An internal investigation exonerated Kompass. The Office of Internal Oversight (OIOS) found that the UN’s “failure to respond to allegations that French peacekeepers sexually abused children in Central African Republic amounted to ‘gross institutional failure’ and allowed assaults to continue.” The report also said that Kompass did nothing wrong since he received “assurances that the information would be kept confidential and, more importantly, that France would take action to bring the perpetrators to justice … No adverse finding is made against the director on this issue.”
The panel criticized Susana Malcorra, Ban’s then chief of staff and one senior official involved in Kompass’s suspension, “for mishandling the affair.” She quit her job to become foreign minister of Argentina a month before the panel published its report.
But last month she announced she wants “to seek the position of UN secretary general when Ban stands down at the end of this year.”
Kompass’s resignation comes a few days after The Washington Post reported that aid workers in CAR found a grave with twelve dead bodies. They believe Congolese peacekeepers murdered the people in 2014 after a clash killed one peacekeeper:
“Angered by the death of their colleague, the Congolese peacekeepers surrounded the anti-Balaka leader’s house, arrested him and at least 12 others, including five women, one of whom was six months pregnant, and two children, one about 10 years old and the other 7 months old,” the [Human Rights Watch] report said.
“Later that night, witnesses heard screams and a volley of gunshots from an area near the villa on the other side of the road, followed about an hour later by another round of gunfire from the same location.”
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