By Ulrike Koltermann
Kinshasa - A sign at the cafeteria cash register for the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) reminds peacekeepers not to have sex with Congolese women. It was posted after MONUC made headlines with a sex scandal in late 2004.
There is nothing unusual about a concentration of soldiers attracting prostitutes.
In Kinshasa, however, professionals are not the only ones who offer themselves to UN troops. Very young girls also do. The men pay them two or three dollars for sex, or give them some food.
When German soldiers go to Congo this summer to reinforce MONUC during elections, they will be subject to the same rule applying to all UN personnel: Sex with the locals is strictly forbidden.