7 March 2018

Central African Republic: More UN Peacekeepers Implicated in Sexual Abuse

Kinshasa — YET another United Nations (UN) peacekeeping mission is embroiled in a sexual scandal after a bishop raised such allegations against the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).

It is the second such allegation after in 2015, at least 98 girls said they had been sexually abused by international peacekeepers.

Following the latest allegations by the Bishop of Bangassou, Monsignor Aguirre, in a Spanish newspaper, UN said it had carried out investigations with the help of local sources, including non-governmental institutions providing assistance to displaced persons.

MINUSCA stated that while to date, there was no tangible evidence to support these allegations, the mission remained committed to conducting further investigations into all allegations brought to its attention.

"The United Nations will not hesitate to take exemplary measures against its personnel involved in proven cases of sexual exploitation and abuse, in accordance with the Secretary-General's zero tolerance policy," MINUSCA stated.

In this context, MINUSCA said it was working to expand its community reporting network for cases of sexual exploitation or abuse.

More than 100 local focal points have been trained and equipped to report cases of sexual exploitation or abuse.

MINUSCA was deployed in 2014 to maintain peace in CAR, which is destabilized by Christian extremists and Muslim radicals.

Recently, UN recalled a peacekeeping police unit in South Sudan after allegations of sexual abuse.

Peacekeepers have also been accused of similar sexual violations in Bosnia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti and Sudan among other countries.

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