WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.N. officials fear the sex-abuse scandal among peacekeepers in Africa is far more widespread and appears to be a problem in each of the global body's 16 missions around the world.I strongly suspect that whaever good deeds the U.N. manages to do in the world are far outweighed by the negative impact of its endemic cronyism, corruption, fecklessness, and, now, widespread violent crime. Nor will its problems be solved by replacing Kofi Annan. It's time to recognize that the U.N. itself is a failure.
As the world body seeks to crack down on the abuse, it could bar countries from participating in missions if they fail to prosecute offenders, even though the U.N. is hard-pressed to find contributing nations, the officials said on Friday.
Rocked by widespread abuse of women and girls, including gang rape, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the United Nations also has found sexual exploitation cases in at least four other missions -- in Burundi, Liberia, Ivory Coast -- as well as more recently in Haiti, they added.
"We think this will look worse before it begins to look better," Jane Holl Lute, assistant secretary general for peacekeeping operations, told reporters. "We expect that more information will come from every mission on allegations. We are prepared for that."
NOTE: This is Day 2 of the light-blogging ski trip edition of Riding Sun. Regular posting will resume after I get back home Friday night.