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Burundi, Morocco peacekeepers accused in new CAR sex abuse cases

Burundi, Morocco peacekeepers accused in new CAR sex abuse cases

Human Rights

New allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation have emerged against UN peacekeepers in the Central African Republic.

This time troops from Burundi and Morocco have been linked to the abuses, raising to 25 the number of sex abuse cases since the start of the year.

The U.N. said in a report earlier this month that there were 69 allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation by peacekeepers in 2015 — 22 of them in Central African Republic.

According to the UN, the two cases include that of a 14-year-old minor, alleged to have been raped at the beginning of the month.

“What MINUSCA is also reporting is that it has received new allegations of possible sexual abuse of a minor involving members of the Burundian contingent based in Sibut, the allegations are in connection with the alleged rape of a 14-year-old girl, which was first reported to the mission by UNICEF last week,” said Stephane Dujarric, United Nations spokesperson.

The mission reported that the victim was provided with medical and psycho-social assistance by an implementing partner of UNICEF.

In addition, the UN spokesman said there is also another new allegation of possible sexual exploitation implicating yet a unidentified member of the Moroccan military contingent.

According to the information received by the mission, the unidentified peacekeeper was engaged in an exploitative sexual relationship with a local adult in February of this year in Bangassou.

“Both national authorities, the Burundian 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,” Stephane Dujarric added.

The countries involved have been alerted on the allegations, and are later expected to make a decision to launch investigations on the matter or leave it to the world body.

The international organisation has been in the spotlight for months over allegations of child rape and other sexual abuses committed by its peacekeepers.

Last year, the UN reported 99 allegations of sexual abuse involving UN staff members across its system, a sharp increase from 80 allegations in 2014.