16 February 2016

Central African Republic: UN Mission in Central African Republic Aims to Ensure Victims of Alleged Abuse Receive Help

The United Nations is working to ensure that the victims involved in four new allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse involving UN peacekeepers in the Central African Republic (CAR) have access to the help they need, a spokesperson for the world body said today.

According to initial information received by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in CAR (MINUSCA) from humanitarian partners on 11 February, the four allegations involve peacekeepers from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The victims, four minors, were all residents of the Ngakobo camp for internally displaced persons in Ouaka prefecture and were allegedly sexually exploited and abused by peacekeepers between 2014 and 2015.

"The Mission is cooperating closely with UN agencies and their partners to ensure that the victims have access to appropriate medical and psycho-social assistance," UN spokesperson Farhan Haq said at a press briefing in New York.

These allegations follow the active engagement of MINUSCA and UN agencies with communities to encourage victims to come forward, he noted.

Mr. Haq added that the Member State, in this case DRC, has been informed of the allegations yesterday and requested to convey within ten days its intention to investigate, failing which the UN will conduct its own investigation.

The Organization has taken a series of measures following reports in recent months of sexual exploitation and abuse by international peacekeeping forces in CAR, including the appointment last week of Jane Holl Lute, an American official with wide-ranging UN experience, to coordinate efforts to curb the scourge.

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