Hushed rape of Timor
March 26, 2005
IT caused outrage among East Timorese and Australian troops sent to protect them, raised tensions among UN peacekeepers to a deadly new level and caused senior UN staff to resign in disgust.
The deployment of Jordanian peacekeepers to East Timor was probably one of the most contentious UN decisions to follow the bloody independence ballot. It was eclipsed only by the cover-up and inaction that followed when the world body learned of their involvement in a series of horrific sex crimes involving children living in the war-battered Oecussi enclave.
Children were not the only victims - in early 2001 two Jordanians were evacuated home with injured penises after attempting sexual intercourse with goats.
The UN mission in East Timor led by Sergio Vieira de Mello (who was later killed in Baghdad) did its best to keep the matter hushed up. The UN military command at the time was only too happy to oblige.
Today the cry for justice from the child victims continues to go unheard.
Then in May 2001 Australian Corporal Wayne Andrew Wratten, who was working at a fuel depot in the enclave, formally complained to his superiors of a disturbing series of sexual abuse allegations involving the Jordanians. Wratten said he had been approached by five East Timorese boys who claimed Jordanian soldiers had offered them food and money in exchange for oral sex and intercourse.
UNTAET convened an inquiry but, in the meantime, details of the allegations had been leaked back to the Jordanians and tensions were on the rise.
"Wratten informed PKF [peacekeeping force] that he had been receiving complaints from local children about Jorbatt [Jordan battalion]," said a senior UN official based in Oecussi at the time.
"A Jordanian officer in HQ informed Jorbatt that he had ratted on them. Wratten and his guys manning the helo [helicopter] refuelling pad in Oecussi town started getting threatened. There was one occasion where Aussie Steyrs were pointed at Jorbatt and Jorbatt M-16s pointed at Aussies."
The official, who asked to remain anonymous, said the incident involving loaded rifles occurred in late May.
"The Aussies began to refuse to refuel Jorbatt vehicles, harsh words were exchanged and then it was guns up. Wratten was then evacuated and two or three close protection guys were flown down," he said.
It pisses me off to no end the numbers of abuses that occur against people under the protection of the UN; no accountability, no responsibility and no action. This is by no means the first set of abuses committed by UN Blue Berets while they were supposed to be protecting them. Raping women, children and goats is not on, it goes against everything thats right in the world. I have zero faith in the United Nations as an institution when the beurocrats hush up these stuff just so they won't alienate certain nations. The Australian Army performed well and interfet worked, it just seems that the UN is more trouble than it is worth.
The UN makes me ill at the levels of depravity it can be party too; If this is the last best hope for mankind then let it burn.