28 March 2016

Central African Republic: UN Reports More Sexual Abuse Cases by Peacekeepers in CAR

Photo: Kate Holt/IRIN
Victim of sexual violence (file photo)

The United Nations has received allegations of two new cases of sexual abuse by U.N. peacekeepers in the Central African Republic.

A U.N. spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, said Monday the latest cases raise the number of reported allegations of sexual abuse by peacekeepers in C.A.R. this year to 25.

He said the new allegations involve Burundian peacekeepers who allegedly raped a 14-year-old girl and a Moroccan soldier who is accused of engaging in "an exploitative sexual relationship" with a local woman. Dujarric said the alleged rape of the girl was first reported to peacekeepers by the United Nations Children's Fund last week.

Morocco and Burundi have been notified of the allegations, Dujarric said. Each country then decides if it wants to investigate the allegations or allow the United Nations to conduct the inquiry.

"Both the national authorities, the Burundians and the Moroccans, have been notified with the request to indicate they will appoint a national investigation officer, and the Moroccans have so far indicated that they will investigate," he said.

The United Nations has faced months of attention over allegations of sexual abuses by its peacekeepers, mostly in the C.A.R. and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Of the 69 alleged sexual abuse cases reported to the United Nations last year, more than half the cases were in those two countries alone.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said he would repatriate entire U.N. military units or police forces where there is credible evidence of widespread or systemic sexual exploitation or abuse. The U.N. Security Council passed a resolution this month supporting the secretary-general's plan.

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