Skip to comments.Belgian UN troops admit to 'roasting' Somali boy
Posted on 05/20/2004 9:28:22 PM PDT by ijcr
TWO Belgian paratroopers who were photographed "roasting" a Somali boy over a flaming brazier are expected to be jailed for only a month and fined #200 after admitting the atrocity in a military court in Brussels yesterday.
Privates Claude Baert and Kurt Coelus faced a maximum of a year in jail but the prosecutor demanded only a month. Sentence will be passed on Monday. The case against a third soldier accused of atrocities during the United Nations "Restore Hope" mission three years ago was adjourned until September.
Sgt Dirk Nassel is accused of forcing a young Somali to eat pork, drink salt water, and then eat his vomit. The three soldiers were charged with assault and threatening behaviour.
A fourth member of the 3rd battalion of the Parachute Regiment, based at Tielen in Flanders, is also due to go on trial in September. Sergeant Major Rudy Derkinderen is suspected of having murdered a Somali whom he was photographed urinating on.
The circumstances surrounding the death of another child at the paratroopers' base near Kismayo in southern Somalia are also under investigation. According to the testimony of two former paratroopers, the boy, who had been caught trying to steal food, died after being locked in a container for 48 hours.
The Defence Minister, Jean-Pol Poncelet, has promised that any of the paratroopers found guilty of criminal acts in Somalia will be dishonourably discharged. Baert has already left the army but Coelus is now in the navy and Nassel has remained at Tielen.
Mr Poncelet has also ordered an inquiry to establish whether the incidents were part of a broader pattern of abuse of the local population. If it is, he has promised to disband the 3rd battalion.
Fifteen members of the regiment were investigated in 1995 for "acts of sadism and torture" against Somalian civilians.
One paratrooper has been sentenced to five years, following the murder of a Somalian youth, who allegedly had uncovered illegal arms trading by the paratroopers. Belgium is the third country involved in the "Restore Hope" mission to charge its soldiers for serious misdemeanours against Somalian civilians, including rape, torture and murder. In 1995 a group of Canadian paratroopers were investigated for torturing a Somali to death and killing three others.
The charges of indiscipline, racism, and the rituals for new members of the unit led to the Canadian Airborne Regiment being disbanded last year. Earlier this month gruesome photographs were published in a Milan magazine of Italian soldiers torturing a young Somali youth, and abusing and raping a young Somali girl. Two Italian generals involved in "Restore Hope" have subsequently resigned to clear the way for a major investigation of the unit involved, the Folgore (Lightning) Division currently deployed on peacekeeping duties in Albania.
The Italian parliament has set up a major investigation and boards of inquiry of the Italian army are at work. Paratroopers of the Folgore claim that they were specifically trained in methods of torture to aid interrogation. According to one witness Italian soldiers tied a young Somali girl to the front of an armoured carrier and raped her while officers looked on.
The witness told investigators: "When the officers wanted to have fun, everybody went along with it."
Over the weekend an interpreter with the Italian force in Somalia accused a Folgore battalion commander of sexually abusing a 13-year-old Somali youth. The "Restore Hope" mission has become the most controversial of all recent peacekeeping operations undertaken under the UN banner. It was mandated in 1992 to provide medical aid and food after civil order in Somalia collapsed following the overthrow of the Marxist dictator Maj Gen Muhammad Siad Barri, after a 17-year civil war.
The operation was directed by an American admiral, and spearheaded by American Marines. After the murder of 20 Pakistani soldiers in an ambush and the killing and dragging of two American Marines through the streets of Mogadishu, the American command moved from peacekeeping to offensive operations against the warlords running the main Somali cities, principally Mogadishu and Kismayo.
Though they used helicopter gunships and area bombardment, the Americans failed to defeat the leading warlord, Gen Muhammad Farrah Aidid, and eventually the UN forces were ordered to withdraw. A common thread through the accusations against the Belgian, Italian and Canadian forces, is the racism of elite units, particularly airborne units, and their inability to adapt to low-intensity peacekeeping operations.
Last week an Italian paratrooper said: "What's the big deal? They are just niggers anyway."
The head of the UN's peacekeeping department, Under Secretary General Bernard Miyet, said: "The image of the United Nations has been tarnished."
CBC wrote this about the Canadian troops "It's coming in waves now, embarrassing revelation after revelation. Just after the release of disturbing home videos shot by Canadian soldiers in Somalia, comes this - brutal home movies shot during military hazing rituals. Soldiers are shown eating feces and engaging in imitated acts of sodomy. One black soldier has "KKK" smeared onto his back with feces. In this commentary, the CBC's Rex Murphy describes the sorry state of the Airborne division. "We promised them peacekeepers," he says angrily, "and in some cases, we sent them thugs."
Click Here For CBC Video
Sorry but I am a perfect RATmediaized American, I can't remember anything past three weeks ago.
Yeah, this is far worse than the Abu Ghraib crap.
However, because Americans did not do these things the media will not report it in the US. This is a one day story. Sad.
As an aside: If you want to stop slavery in the Sudan, have an American go and buy one slave. The outcry will be so great that steps will be taken to stop the rampant slave trade in Sudan. However, because it is being done by Muslims (who enslave the souther Sudanese Christians), no one gives a darn.
Murderous westerners against innocent third worlders, you get the picture...
It's so nice to know the War Crimes Court is in Brussells ready to try Americans for hate crimes.
I demand that Rumsfeld stepdown for this /sarcasm off
People forget about other countries atrocities, from the French involvement in Rwanda to the Canadians in Somalia. This is not moral equivolency nor is it perspective what we have here is hypocracy.
You do seem to forget that our President won't allow it. Of course Kerry probably would, yet another reason why everyone needs to vote Bush come November.
I can picture an editorial board reviewing this for potential to hurt Bush, not finding any, and putting it on page 23.
Other than the article and picture copied and preserved at #9 does any Freeper remember ever hearing of this story when it happened, on Clinton's watch? The silence was deafening.
roasted somalian i think they are betterstir fried
Pictures, videos, witnesses, hearings, we want it all.
Oh, I forgot they are Canucks and waffle chompers, not Americans so will they get a pass.
Fifteen members of the regiment were investigated in 1995 for "acts of sadism and torture" against Somalian civilians. One paratrooper has been sentenced to five years, following the murder of a Somalian youth, who allegedly had uncovered illegal arms trading by the paratroopers. Belgium is the third country involved in the "Restore Hope" mission to charge its soldiers for serious misdemeanours against Somalian civilians, including rape, torture and murder. In 1995 a group of Canadian paratroopers were investigated for torturing a Somali to death and killing three others.
Actually some Americans HAVE been buying slaves in the Sudan, as a way to free them. The buying gets no more coverage than the rest of the slavery issue. What we need to do is send Rev. Jesse and Rev. Al over there then notify some naive slavers that high ranking black Christian church leaders are invading their turf.
Won't allow it? The door is far from closed in regards to the ICC court, except for key individuals for now. We have not seen the last of that monster by any means.
Sorry to burst your bubble but the President's already made it plain and clear...not on his watch.
Hahahaha!! Oh, stop, I can't breathe, excuse me while I go change my pants, hahahahaha!!
But they're UN troops and are Europeans, so that means that anything they do is, by definition, not that bad a thing: a boy's death = 1 month in the slammer and 200 Euros fine.
Gee, I can't imagine why the leftist press hasn't been all over these abuses. /sarcasm Thanks for the link.
It's OK to roast a kid alive but not to make someone wear women's underwear on their heads? Where's the international outrage?
Not on his watch? ROFLOL poor baby. But the FTAA is okay on his watch, right? And the FTAA will never lead to submission to the ICC right? You are too old to be this naive.
Yes, this President won't betray out troops, and they know it.
You really should stop reading those buchanan fairy tales and move on to the real world.