This file photo taken on January
19, 2014 shows a French soldier stands guard as people wait to seek
refuge at the Boali church, in Boali, Central African Republic. ©AFP
reported two new cases of child sexual abuse charges against its
peacekeepers in the Central African Republic (CAR) as the world body
continues an investigation into similar cases.
secretary-general’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Friday that the
new allegations from two underage kids were related to the incidents
that had reportedly taken place in May.
Dujarric was addressing a
press conference, in which he provided an update on the ongoing
investigations by the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) on
many reports of sexual exploitation and abuse of mostly minors by French
troops and other UN peacekeepers in the CAR’s Kemo Prefecture.
He said the UN would notify the concerned member states and request for national investigators to look into the new allegations.
Dujarric did not provide details on the nationalities of the peacekeepers under investigation.
to Dujarric, the new information is undergoing preliminary review and
assessment by OIOS in a bit to verify its credibility, saying all
subsequent measures would be taken as required in an expeditious manner.
further declared that nearly 50 witnesses have so far been identified
and are being interviewed in order to corroborate the testimonies.
file picture taken on February 18, 2014, in Bangui, Central African
Republic, shows French troops on light armoured vehicles. ©AFPThe UN and various countries have come under increasing criticism for sexual abuse of minors by peacekeepers.
Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Deputy Head of MINUSCA (UN’s
peacekeeping mission in CAR) Diane Corner as well as several other UN
delegates were told by local leaders and victims in March that troops
from France and Gabon had sexually abused several girls in the Kemo
region of the Central African Republic between 2013 and 2015.
CAR, one of the world’s poorest countries, plunged into turmoil in
December 2013, when Christian armed groups launched coordinated attacks
against the mostly-Muslim Seleka group, which itself had toppled the
government in March that year.
France invaded the CAR, a former
French colony, after the UN Security Council adopted a resolution giving
the African Union and France the go-ahead to send troops to the country
in a bid to contain the violence.
According to the latest UN
estimates, the conflict in the CAR has internally displaced 399,000
people and forced more than 460,000 to flee to neighboring countries.