DR Congo II
Sexual Exploitation by UN Peacekeepers, February 2004
The UN mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo is the most expensive in the world, costing over 2 million US Dollars a day to run. In May 2004, while on a photographic assignment in Bunia, I found out that UN soldiers in the town of Bunia, north eastern Congo, were sexually exploiting young girls – themselves victims of the war these soldiers had been sent to stop. The story was run as a feature in the Independent and, as a result, the UN launched numerous investigations.
Following the publication of this investigation Kofi Annan admitted “I am afraid there is clear evidence that acts of gross misconduct have taken place.
This is a shameful thing for the United Nations to have to say, and I am absolutely outraged by it,” For thousands of women in the Congo, however, prostituting themselves to UN soldiers is currently their only means of survival.