UN names coordinator to tackle peacekeeping sex abuse scandal

United Nations (United States) (AFP) –


UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday appointed American Jane Holl Lute to tackle mounting allegations of sexual abuse by UN peacekeepers.

Lute was named special coordinator on improving the UN response to sexual abuse, a position created after a report by an independent panel found the world body had grossly mishandled the cases.

Lute, who served in several senior UN peacekeeping positions from 2003 to 2008, is currently Ban's special adviser for the relocation of Iraqi refugees from Camp Hurriya.

She also served as deputy secretary for the US Department of Homeland Security.

The United Nations has been badly shaken by a wave of allegations that peacekeepers serving in the UN mission in the Central African Republic sexually abused and exploited women, girls and boys.

Ban fired the head of the 10,000-strong MINUSCA force last year over the mounting number of cases, but the allegations have continued to surface.

Lute's appointment came ahead of the release later this month of a UN report detailing cases of sexual abuse in all peacekeeping missions. For the first time it will name the nationalities of the troops involved.