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Congolese troops to be repatriated from the CAR following sexual abuse claims

Congolese troops to be repatriated from the CAR following sexual abuse claims

Central African Republic

<p><strong>The United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic <del><span class="caps">MINUSCA</span></del> says it will repatriate 120 peacekeepers from the the Republic of Congo following fresh allegations of sexual abuse of children in the <span class="caps">CAR</span>.</strong></p> <p>A statement from <span class="caps">MINUSCA</span>, said it has ‘ identified seven new possible victims of sexual exploitation and abuse in Bambari,” a city in the country’s central region.</p> <p>The soldiers involved are reportedly from the Congo (of Brazzaville) and the Democratic republic of Congo. </p> <p>The “repatriation will occur after an investigation is carried out; in the meantime the soldiers will be confined to barracks,” <span class="caps">MINUSCA</span> said, noting the claims date from September to December last year</p> <p><span class="caps">MINUSCA</span> says it was made aware of the rape incidents by international rights organisation- Human Rights Watch. A UN probe “found sufficient initial evidence that five of the victims were minors and had been sexually abused and that one adult had been sexually exploited”, the statement said.</p> <p>Thursday’s announcement comes days after new claims came to light of French and EU troops in the <span class="caps">CAR</span> sexually abusing children, sometimes in return for food or money</p> <p>Two girls aged between 14 and 16 said they were raped by soldiers from the EU’s <span class="caps">EUFOR</span> mission, while two others said they were paid to have sexual relations with other <span class="caps">EUFOR</span> soldiers, the UN said on Monday.</p> <p>UN staff have also interviewed a girl and a boy, aged seven and nine respectively, who were allegedly abused in 2014 by soldiers from the French Sangaris force.</p> <p>The girl said she had performed oral sex on French soldiers in exchange for a bottle of water and a sachet of cookies, the UN said.</p> In 2015, a damning UN internal report on sexual abuse of children by French troops was leaked. The report documented alleged rape incidents of children as young as nine. <p>UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon fired the head of the 10,000-strong <span class="caps">MINUSCA</span> force last year over the mounting number of cases, but the allegations have continued to surface.</p>
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