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DRC begins trial of soilders accused of sexual abuse

DRC begins trial of soilders accused of sexual abuse

Democratic Republic Of Congo

Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo said on Thursday that it had begun trial of 20 of its soldiers over alleged rape and other crimes committed while serving as UN peacekeepers in Central African Republic (CAR).

Jeanine Mabunda, an adviser to president Joseph Kabila said that the soilders have been in jail since returning to Congo in December and January, following investigations conducted in CAR by military investigators.

She added that the soilders were being tried by a military court in Kinshasa but their identities remain undisclosed.

About 800 peacekeepers from DRC were repatriated in February following a series of accusation of sexual abuse of women and children.

Authorities in DRC have said they will investigate the allegations but a government spokesperson had previously dismissed many of them as fabrications and accused the UN of singling out Congo troops.

Earlier this week, the UN said it had received fresh sexual abuse allegations against peacekeepers from Morocco and Burundi.

The UN mission in the Central African Republic has been assailed by accusations of sexual abuse since taking over control from an African Union mission in September 2014.