Hollande promises to be 'relentless' against CAR rapists

2015-04-30 19:55
Francois Hollande. (AP)

Francois Hollande. (AP)

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Paris - French President Francois Hollande said on Thursday during a visit to the Breton city of Brest that he would be "relentless" in pursuit of any soldiers guilty of raping children in the Central African Republic (CAR).

"If certain soldiers behaved badly, I will be relentless," he said, reacting to the leaking on Wednesday by a UN aid worker of a confidential report on the sexual abuse of children by French troops in the CAR.

The Paris public prosecutor's office revealed on Wednesday that it had launched an investigation into possible child abuse by French soldiers in July 2014.

Following "serious allegations" of sexual abuse by French military personnel in the spring 2014, the UN said it had conducted an investigation out of its office in Bangui.

The abuse allegations were made by young boys, who said it occurred in Bangui, the country's capital, between December 2013 and June 2014.

There are 14 suspects, of whom only a few have been identified, the AFP news agency reported Thursday, citing judicial sources.

France sent troops to the CAR at the end of 2013 as part of a UN force to protect the civilian population following a coup by Islamist Seleka rebels.


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