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UNs Liberia mission calls for immediate investigation into possible sexual abuse

“The UN Mission in Liberia has requested the Office of Internal Oversight Services to conduct an immediate investigation, following the Mission’s receipt of information suggesting that some of its personnel have been involved in sexual exploitation and abuse,” Michele Montas told reporters at UN Headquarters in New York.“The UN is deeply concerned by this development and wishes to reiterate its determination to take action against any of its personnel who are found to have committed any act of sexual exploitation or abuse.”The world body maintains a zero tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and has worked to stamp it out wherever it occurs, whether in the various UN headquarters worldwide or perpetrated by any of the nearly 200,000 people from well over 100 countries that rotate through its peacekeeping missions every year.This latest move by the UN in Liberia comes a day after the world body agreed with the Government of Sudan to set up a joint task force to deal with the issue there, which in turn followed recent media reports of abuses by UN peacekeepers in southern Sudan.Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other top officials have declared that any form of sexual exploitation will not be tolerated and the UN has set up conduct units in all of its major peacekeeping operations to address the problem. 19 January 2007The United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) has called for an immediate internal investigation after receiving information about possible sexual exploitation by some of its staff, a UN spokesperson said today.

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