German military carrying out structural reforms after sexual abuse scandal | Reuters

By Andrea Shalal | BERLIN BERLIN Germany's military has embarked on a series of structural reforms after a sexual abuse scandal rocked its elite special operations training centre in southern Germany, the top military officer told lawmakers in a report obtained by Reuters.General Volker Wieker, inspector general of the German Bundeswehr, said leaders at the Pfullendorf training centre had failed to halt hazing rituals and other 'demeaning and tasteless' practices involving both male and female soldiers such as the use of rectal thermometers during instruction.'We will not tolerate violations of the internal leadership of the German Bundeswehr,' Wieker said in the report. 'Our efforts are intended to prevent future incidents of this type.' German military and government officials condemned the incidents at the training centre when they first became public in January and promised serious consequences. Women account for about 11 percent of the 178,000 soldiers in the German military, though they comprise only about 2 percent of some combat units.An initial analysis showed the biggest problems involved soldiers and junior officers between the ages of 20-30 and infantry-related units and some training facilities, Wieker said in the report

Reuters March 29, 2017 00:47:49 IST
German military carrying out structural reforms after sexual abuse scandal
| Reuters

German military carrying out structural reforms after sexual abuse scandal
 Reuters

By Andrea Shalal
| BERLIN

BERLIN Germany's military has embarked on a series of structural reforms after a sexual abuse scandal rocked its elite special operations training centre in southern Germany, the top military officer told lawmakers in a report obtained by Reuters.General Volker Wieker, inspector general of the German Bundeswehr, said leaders at the Pfullendorf training centre had failed to halt hazing rituals and other "demeaning and tasteless" practices involving both male and female soldiers such as the use of rectal thermometers during instruction."We will not tolerate violations of the internal leadership of the German Bundeswehr," Wieker said in the report. "Our efforts are intended to prevent future incidents of this type." German military and government officials condemned the incidents at the training centre when they first became public in January and promised serious consequences.

Women account for about 11 percent of the 178,000 soldiers in the German military, though they comprise only about 2 percent of some combat units.An initial analysis showed the biggest problems involved soldiers and junior officers between the ages of 20-30 and infantry-related units and some training facilities, Wieker said in the report.

Wieker said the investigation had highlighted the need to revamp the current "incoherent" system for reporting problems and to set up a central database for collating complaints and tracking emerging trends.A new central office set up at the beginning of February to handle complaints about discrimination and violence had already received 40 reports, with most civilian complaints focussed on bullying and most military complaints on "sexual assaults".

Wieker said the military would also carefully reassess its existing mechanisms for reporting discrimination, violence and other problems, and work to create a more open "reporting culture".A new ministry office had been created to focus on leadership and would work closely with the new central complaints office and the general inspector for training.A spokesman for the defence ministry declined to comment on the report. It is to be debated by the defence committee of the Bundestag lower house of parliament on Wednesday. (Editing by Gareth Jones)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.