UN Haiti peacekeepers accused of sex assault
The United Nations is investigating allegations that five Uruguayan naval troops at a UN base in southern Haiti sexually molested an 18-year-old man in an attack reportedly captured by a cellphone camera.
The UN mission learned of the allegations last week and the scandal prompted Uruguay to sack its naval chief in Haiti.
The soldiers were confined to their barracks pending the outcome of the probe.
Cellphone camera video
Shot with a cellphone camera, the clip shows several men in camouflaged uniforms laughing as they pin down a young man on a mattress.
The men seem to be saying "no problem" in Spanish as they hold the teen's arms and hands behind his back. The camera jumps around, and it's not clear from the video what's happening.
A magistrate in Port-Salut, the southwestern coastal town in which the assault allegedly happened, has gathered testimony from the alleged victim and his mother and filed it in court.
Some residents in Port-Salut planned to demonstrate against the UN on Monday in support of the alleged victim and his family, and call for the ouster of the peacekeepers there.
The UN peacekeeping mission arrived in Haiti in 2004 after former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide was toppled in a violent rebellion.
Relations between the troops and many Haitians have been strained, with critics accusing the force of using heavy-handed tactics.
Tensions worsened last year after a unit of peacekeepers from Nepal was blamed by many people for an outbreak of cholera in Haiti.
The epidemic has killed more than 6,200 people and sickened more than 438,000, Haiti's Health Ministry says.
Haitian President Michel Martelly's office said in a news release that the president is awaiting a detailed report.
But he also asked relevant authorities to meet with UN officials to prevent "such acts" from happening, it said.