WikiLeaks Cable: UN Peacekeepers Traded Food for Sex

An exposed WikiLeaks cable reveals that U.N. peacekeepers in the Ivory Coast forced underaged girls into sex in exchange for food and shelter. The United States Embassy cable written in January 2010 focuses on the behavior of Beninese peacekeepers stationed in the very poor and conflict-ridden town of Toulepleu. Eight out of 10 randomly selected girls interviewed by aid group Save the Children in 2009 admitted to trading sex for food or lodging. U.N. spokesman Michel Bonnardeaux confirmed that in April, 16 Beninese peacekeeprs were kicked out of the program and sent back home, The Associated press reports. He blamed commanders for "failing to maintain an environment that prevents sexual exploitation and abuse."

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