DR Congo refugees protest against poor treatment by UN staff

September 20

More than 100 refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) sheltering in the Republic of Congo have been protesting against poor treatment since Thursday in front of the offices of the UNHCR in Brazzaville.

Officials told Xinhua on Sunday that the refugees were angry with the bad treatment by the workers of this UN refugee agency.

They condemned the sexual harassment, the manner in which they were being handled after arrival and trafficking of documents by UNHCR officials, who were alleged to sell simple UN forms for 20 U. S. dollars.

Protesters claim that women and girls have become victims of sexual harassment from some UNHCR officials, who demand sex in exchange for any service.

They vow to continue with their sit-in until a solution to their grievances is found.

Paul Nday Touroum, who represents the UNHCR in Brazzaville, dismissed the allegations as unfounded, but promised to carry out an investigation.

“But if these sexual harassment allegations turn out to be true, we shall take appropriate action because this kind of crime cannot be tolerated with the UN,” the official said on Sunday.

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