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UN releases recommendations on stopping abuses by peacekeepers

[JURIST] A United Nations report on peacekeeper sex abuse released Thursday has described its military arm as deeply flawed. The report, authored by Prince Zeid al Hussein, Jordan's UN ambassador, was issued as a response to repeated allegations of sexual abuse [JURIST story] by UN peacekeepers in missions ranging from Bosnia and Kosovo to West Africa and Congo. The report makes a host of recommendations designed to make peacekeepers drawn from the militaries of UN member states more accountable. Currently the UN has few if any legal options to take action against accused peacekeepers; peacekeepers accused of wrongdoing are generally sent to their home country to face punishment but rarely have displinary or other legal action taken against them. Zeid has recommended having military court martials in the country where the claims were made, asking nations to refer cases to national courts for prosecution if peacekeepers did commit abuse, and withholding salaries of the guilty. Zeid has set a target date of 2007 to complete his recommendations. The full text of the report is not yet available online. AP has more.

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