New claims of peacekeeper sexual abuse in CAR

2015-09-12 08:11
(File, AFP)

(File, AFP)

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New York - UN peacekeepers in the Central African Republic have been accused of sexually abusing a young girl, UN officials said on Friday, the latest in a string of allegations of misconduct to hit the troubled mission.

UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous described the sexual abuse claims targeting the Minusca force as "catastrophic" after returning from a trip to the Central African Republic.

Ladsous declined to give details of the new case, but UN officials said the accusations came to light on Thursday and involved a young girl, who may have been a minor when the abuse took place.

It remained unclear where and when the sexual abuse is alleged to have taken place and the nationalities of the troops involved.

The latest allegations surfaced just as US President Barack Obama is due to host a summit later this month on peacekeeping aimed at broadening support from developed countries, mostly in Europe, to UN peace missions.

The Minusca mission has been hit with 15 cases of alleged sexual abuse including nine that involved underage victims as young as 11.

Three new cases of rape allegedly committed by troops from the Democratic Republic of Congo came to light at the end of August, prompting Kinshasa to open an investigation.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last month took the unprecedented step of firing mission chief Babacar Gaye of Senegal and replaced him with Parfait Onanga-Anyanga of Gabon over the wave of accusations.

Ban has described sexual abuse in peacekeeping as a "cancer in our system."

Under UN rules, it is up to member states to investigate and prosecute their soldiers who face accusations of misconduct while serving under the UN flag.

Read more on:    un  |  car  |  central africa  |  child abuse

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