The following is an excerpt. To view the full article please visit the link below.
UNITED NATIONS -- Human-rights activists accused the United Nations yesterday of effectively whitewashing a guns-for-gold scandal that allegedly saw its peacekeepers arm rebels they were supposed to be disarming in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In a letter to UN peacekeeping chief Jean-Marie Guehenno, New York-based Human Rights Watch takes issue with the world body's findings that only one Pakistani soldier had helped smuggle gold from the resource-rich country and that no UN peacekeeper had been involved in gun-running.
The findings run counter to evidence collected by numerous non-UN observers inside Congo, which suggests the illegal trade was widespread.
"The Pakistanis were involved in a Mafia ring that included the Congolese army and Kenyan traders all smuggling millions of dollars in gold from eastern Congo into East Africa," New Brunswick-raised Anneke Van Woudenberg, who runs a team of Human Rights Watch investigators in DRC, said from Kigali, ...