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UN official in Haiti sacked over sex assault claims

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2011-09-05

A navy commander with Uruguay's UN mission in Haiti has been dismissed amid allegations that a young Haitian man was sexually assaulted by five Uruguayan peacekeepers. The incident was captured by cell phone and circulated on the internet.

AFP - Uruguay announced Sunday it has sacked a navy commander with the UN mission in Haiti after a video was circulated of an alleged sexual assault on a young Haitian man by members of a Uruguayan peacekeeping unit.

The Defense Ministry said in a statement that in addition to the dismissal of the official -- who was not immediately named -- a military justice board had been convened and paperwork for the return home of the five allegedly involved had been started.

"The navy wants to go beyond the simple fact of the video (to determine) if there are other violations of conduct," spokesman Sergio Bique told local media. The suspects will be tried and sentenced appropriately, he stressed.

In Haiti, Magistrate Paul Tarte said Friday that officials were examining testimony from the alleged suspect and images of the incident taken by a cell telephone camera at the base in southern Haiti, which have also been circulated on the Internet. Medical evidence of the attack also was obtained.

UN peacekeeping spokesman Kieran Dwyer said the United Nations acted immediately after hearing about the incident late last week.

The UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti, dispatched to help maintain order and security following last year's devastating earthquake, has also come under fire after a cholera outbreak in the impoverished Caribbean nation that some experts say was transmitted by Nepalese peacekeepers.

Date created : 2011-09-05

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