U.N. paid millions to Russian company whose aviator ‘raped a girl’

A World Food Programme (WFP) truck backs up to load food items from a recently landed UN helicopter, in Yida camp, South Sudan Friday, Sept. 14, 2012. (AP)

The United Nations has reportedly spent half a billion dollars on contracts with a Russian aviation company since discovering one of its helicopter crews had drugged and raped an African teenage girl, UK paper The Guardian  reported on Thursday.

Leaked internal U.N. documents that were exclusively given to the Guardian, marked “strictly confidential,” revealed that after the assault, the girl was dumped naked and unconscious at a helicopter base of the carrier UTair in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The documents also showed that the U.N.’s internal complaints unit uncovered evidence the woman was deliberately burnt with lit cigarettes and photographed lying on the ground. It was also concluded the attack, which took place in 2010, was committed by the manager in charge of UTair’s base in Kalemie, eastern DRC.

The main investigative report, conducted from March 2011, warned of a possible “culture of sexual exploitation and abuse” at UTair, in which copies of that document were circulated among top officials at the U.N., as well as in New York at the office of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Since the investigation into the UTair incident was completed four years ago, the U.N. has granted the company new contracts and renewed existing deals, for helicopter support at U.N. missions in Lebanon, Western Sahara, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Somalia and Mali.

In total the company has been granted contracts worth $543.3m for services it provided in 11 countries since the U.N. became aware of the sexual abuse.

 

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:44 - GMT 06:44
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