February 21, 2005

MORE EMBARRASSMENT:

The U.N.’s top refugee advocate resigned Sunday amid a festering controversy over allegations that he sexually harassed several female employees at the U.N. refugee agency. . . .

U.N. diplomats said Lubbers had become a political liability for an organization already striving to demonstrate its willingness to hold senior officials accountable after damaging scandals involving corruption in a U.N. humanitarian program in Iraq and sexual misconduct by U.N. peacekeepers in Congo.

Annan is bracing for a report next month by a U.N.-appointed panel probing allegations of influence peddling in the U.N.-administered oil-for-food program in Iraq by his son, Kojo Annan. Those charges have triggered calls for Annan’s resignation from some legislators, including Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

On the other hand, this story of rape and child abuse by U.N. peacekeepers in the Congo seems like much bigger news.

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