16 September 2005

Secretary-General Welcomes Decision of Nigeria - "Longstanding African Peacekeeping Partner" - to Recall Police Unit from Congo Mission

NEW YORK, 15 September (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

Following allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse by some members of a Formed Police Unit from Nigeria in Kinshasa, the Government of Nigeria has decided to recall the unit from the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), without prejudice to the decision of the United Nations investigation and review process.

The Secretary-General welcomes this decision by the Government of Nigeria.  Furthermore, the United Nations will provide all appropriate assistance to the Government of Nigeria as it undertakes measures to address this matter at the national level.

The Secretary-General acknowledges the outstanding contribution of Nigeria to United Nations peacekeeping operations.  Indeed, Nigeria is a longstanding African peacekeeping partner and an important troop- and police-contributing country.  The Government of Nigeria and the United Nations share a commitment to a policy of zero tolerance regarding sexual exploitation and abuse and any other forms of misconduct by peacekeeping personnel.

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