Arrogant and unaccountable? A month on, still no apology or explanation for the FNL corruption scandal from the UN Burundi office.
UN Burundi chief Carolyn McAskie - Investigating the allegations or playing for time?
The spokesman of the ONUB in Burundi, Pegnamini Touré, recognizes that there were combatants of the Fnl movement who were caught with military uniforms of the ONUB. However he added that it does not prove that ONUB collaborates with the Palipehutu - Fnl Movement. Some UN soldiers may have given them to the Fnl and investigations are being carried out to find out who they are. While waiting, he severely warns any person who would affirm that the ONUB collaborates with Palipehutu - Fnl. - Burundian human rights organisation, Ligue Iteka
Is there really an investigation going on, or is this a timewasting tactic, designed to silence criticism until the matter fades from public view? The United Nations also claimed to be investigating the August 13th 2004 Gatumba massacre, in which 153 innocent people died - but in May 2005 we were told that it was a "wait and see situation".
If we can't trust the UN to investigate a bloody massacre, how can we trust them to investigate corruption within their own office? It should come as no surprise that the UN has said nothing further on this scandal since "severely warning" the independent Burundian media for having drawn the very obvious conclusion that some kind of UN-FNL complicity has been taking place. It appears that no apology for the lapse has ever been made. The ONUB office spokesman Penangnini Touré (Email) has failed to reply to emails asking for clarification. This does nothing to assuage the impression of an organisation deeply embarrassed but unwilling to admit that it is a publicly accountable body. It's starting to look like another "wait and see situation"...
United Nations staff are not above the law. Corruption and incompetence in the international community's dealings with Burundi's war criminals has killed enough people already.
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Burundi, human rights, Current Affairs, Politics, Africa