The United Nations has launched a probe into fresh allegations that its peacekeepers sexually abused four minor girls in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic (CAR), according to the UN spokesman.
The UN has asked the countries whose troops were allegedly involved in the abuse to investigate
- The nearly 11,000-strong MINUSCA, set up in 2014, has been hit by a series of claims of sexual abuse by the peacekeepers
- Such claims pushed UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon to remove the mission chief last year
The UN mission in CAR, known as MINUSCA, said that it received the claims on Monday and has asked the countries whose troops were allegedly involved in the abuse to investigate.
Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, said UNICEF is working with a local partner to help the girls receive medical and psychosocial care. The four victims were also provided with clothes, shoes and hygiene kits.
However, in line with UN policy not to disclose the countries whose peacekeepers were accused of sexual abuse, Dujarric did not say where the peacekeepers were from. It is up to the country contributing troops to investigate and prosecute the soldiers.
The nearly 11,000-strong MINUSCA, set up in 2014, has been hit by a series of claims of sexual abuse by the peacekeepers which pushed UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon to remove the mission chief last year.
In December, an independent panel slammed the UN response to the sexual abuse allegations, saying the international body failed to properly evaluate peacekeepers for past abuses and needed to do more to protect children.
The mission chief, Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, told MINUSCA’s military and police officials that there would be ‘zero tolerance’ for such actions. “There is no place in UN peacekeeping for those who betray the trust of the people we are here to help,” he said.