Home Foreign New sexual abuse allegations reported against UN troops in CAR

New sexual abuse allegations reported against UN troops in CAR


New York – UN Spokeswoman Vannina Maestracci said three more allegations of sexual assault against UN troops have been reported in the Central African Republic (CAR), including one case involving a minor.

She said on Thursday during a press conference in New York that the allegations were made by family members of the three female victims, on Aug. 12.

Maestracci said the abuses allegedly happened in recent weeks in the town of Bambari, in the central region of CAR, north-east from the capital Bangui.

She said the new allegations surfaced after UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, fired the former Head of the Mission, Babacar Gaye, over several previous reports of sexual abuse committed by UN troops in the country.

A UN official said on condition of anonymity that in spite of Ban’s push last week for more transparency, the UN spokeswoman did not say which country among those contributing troops to the peacekeeping force the accused troops came from.

He, however, said the UN’s latest troop-deployment map, soldiers from the Democratic Republic of the Congo were the only UN forces stationed in Bambari.

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The source said under UN peacekeeping guidelines, troop-contributing countries have the primary responsibility to prosecute their troops for committing abuses while on a UN mission.

“UN is currently waiting on the country whose nationals are accused of the current reports of sexual abuse to begin investigations into the cases.

“There have been 13 incidents of possible sexual assault reported since the UN mission began in the country in April 2014,’’ he said.

The international non-profit AIDS-Free World, whose Code Blue Campaign is aiming to end sexual abuse by UN troops, condemned the latest reports, and pointed the finger at the UN’s leadership on the highest levels for failing to end sexual abuse.

“Isn’t this torrent of reported rapes emerging from just one country evidence enough of an incredible failure of leadership in New York.

“The time has come for a wholesale house cleaning of officials throughout the UN system.

“It is unforgivable that the reputation of international peacekeepers and the UN itself are put at risk by the incompetence at the centre,’’ it said.

The UN mission to CAR has 10,800 uniformed personnel on the ground. (dpa/NAN)

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