The United Nations peacekeepers in the Central African Republic are facing new charges of sexually assaulting four girls.
The UN mission said it received the claims on Monday and had asked three countries whose troops have been accused to investigate. But their nationalities were not made public.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative Parfait Onanga-Anyanga said “There is no place in UN peacekeeping for those who betray the trust of the people, we are here to help,” while reaffirming his commitment to Ban Ki-moon’s policy of ‘zero tolerance’ for such misconduct.
There is no place in UN peacekeeping for those who betray the trust of the people
In a meeting in Bangui, with the military and police components of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in CAR (MINUSCA), Onanga-Anyanga regretted the action but said “there will be no complacency for perpetrators or accomplices of such crimes which tarnish the UN flag, the peace keepers’ identity and their country’s honour.”
He also outlined new measures to help identify perpetrators and deter new cases, as well as renew his commitment to protect whistle-blowers.
The 10,000-strong MINUSCA force continues to be hit by allegations of sex abuse every now and then. French and African troops were found to have forced children to perform sexual acts in exchange for food in 2013 and 2014.
Mr. Onanga-Anyanga announced on-going discussions with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to reinforce MINUSCA’s ability to combat sexual exploitation and abuse.