Judges launch probe into CAR child sex scandal

2015-05-07 19:12
File: AFP

File: AFP

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Paris - Judges in France will investigate claims that French soldiers raped children in the Central African Republic, the state prosecutor announced on Thursday.

Fourteen soldiers have been placed under investigation, following statements by six children aged between nine and 13 that some were sexually abused by French peacekeepers between December 2013 and June 2014.

The announcement came a day after the Central African Republic government said it would launch its own legal action against the French soldiers.

"We regret the fact we were not brought into these investigations despite the cooperation agreements we have with France," said Justice Minister Aristide Sokambi.

French troops were deployed to the Central African Republic in December 2013 to help African Union peacekeepers restore order after a bout of sectarian bloodletting triggered by a coup.

Hundreds of troops were stationed outside the capital Bangui at M'Poko airport, which was transformed into a giant refugee camp.

Potentially devastating scandal

Most of the displaced families living amid the abandoned planes had lost everything in the conflict, which pitted mainly Muslim rebels against vigilantes from the majority Christian population.

The defence ministry has said it immediately launched a probe into the rape allegations when they were first received in July, sending police investigators to the former French colony on August 1.

But the damning allegations only became public after The Guardian newspaper broke the story last month.

The allegations were first collated in an internal United Nations report and only reached French authorities when it was leaked by a senior UN official.

Both the French government and UN have denied trying to cover up the potentially devastating scandal, but the UN official was suspended from his job over the leak.

If proven, the allegations will not only affect the French army but also the Central African Republic, which is trying to find a way out of a conflict that has killed thousands and displaced nearly 900 000 people.

Read more on:    un  |  france  |  central african republic  |  central africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.