UN suspends two Middle East peacekeeping staff over sexual misconduct – Middle East Monitor

Two male staff members of the UN peacekeeping operation in the Middle East have already been placed on leave after a short inquiry found they had engaged in sexual misconduct, a U.N. spokesman said, Reuters reports.

The United Nations’ internal investigations office launched the inquiry after a video circulated on social media appearing to show a lady straddling a person in the trunk seat of a UN-marked vehicle since it was driven down a coastal boulevard in Tel Aviv.

“Two male international staff members who were in the UN vehicle in Tel Aviv have been identified as having engaged in misconduct, including conduct of a sexual nature,” Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said in a statement late on Thursday.

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Dujarric said the video involved staff of the Jerusalem-based United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), which provides military observers to monitoring missions in south Lebanon and the Golan Heights, based on its web site.

Given the seriousness of the allegations, Dujarric added, the two were added to administrative leave without pay, pending the final outcome of the investigation by the UN’s Office of Internal Oversight Services.

Asked for comment, a UNTSO spokeswoman described Dujarric’s statement.

UNTSO had earlier said that the “behavior seen in (the video) is abhorrent and goes against everything we stand for”.