has spoken out firmly concerning French authorities' delay in investigating misconduct by French soldiers in the Central African Republic. According to The New York Times:
. . . Ten years ago, as the lead author of a critical report on how the United Nations handles sexual abuse allegations against its own peacekeepers, he proposed that defendants be tried in court-martial proceedings in the country where the accusations are made and that they submit DNA samples to help investigators.
He also urged the United Nations to have a role in conducting the full investigation, along with the authorities of the home countries of the peacekeepers. That way, his report said, there could be a second set of eyes to ensure accountability.
None of those reforms were made, after countries that contribute troops to peacekeeping missions objected. Other changes were made, including offering services to victims.The United Nations has limited means to force home countries to punish their soldiers. It can urge them to do so, it can ask for information about their investigations — though sometimes the countries do not respond — and in principle, it can refuse to take forces from those countries.The current controversy ought to breathe new life into (and lead to real action on) the earlier reform proposals, since the present system of accountability seems to be seriously flawed.