Peacekeeping sex probe police leave Eritrea

The last contingent of Irish troops to serve as UN peacekeepers in the Horn of Africa has left Eritrea but investigations continue into allegations of “sexual misbehaviour” by members of the group that preceded them, the UN said today.

Irish military police conducting the investigation into reports that members of the previous contingent had been involved with under-age Eritrean prostitutes left on Sunday with the final group deployed under the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea, or UNMEE.

“The allegations were brought to the attention of UNMEE earlier this year,” said force commander, British Major General Robert Gordon.

“By the time the allegations were made, those against whom they were made had already left the country, and we took the appropriate steps to alert the Irish military authorities.”

Gordon stressed that the allegations did not concern the departing contingent which he praised for its “exemplary behaviour.”

The UN mission was set up in July 2000 to monitor a cessation of hostilities between Ethiopia and Eritrea following a two-and-a-half-year war over their 620 mile border and to “ensure the observance of security commitments.”

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