08:29 GMT29 November 2020
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    Further scandal has emerged surrounding the issue of European troops sexually abusing children in the Central African Republic. According to Associated Press news agency, six new cases have been reported to United Nations human rights staff.

    The current UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid Raad al-Hussein, reveals that staff members have carried out interviews with five girls and one boy. Amongst them, a seven year old girl and nine year old boy state their abusers were French. Other girls believe their abusers to be from a Georgian peacekeeping troop. 

    The allegations date back to 2014 and occurred in a refugee camp near Bangui airport and bring the number of cases brought against soldiers working in the Central African Republic to 32. 

    The UN is already investigating three countries following revelations that young girls were paid just 50 cents for sex by troops stationed at a camp in Bangui serving in the Minusca mission. The victims were interviewed by investigators from children’s charity UNICEF. 

    Initial cases dating back to 2014 revealed that French troops sexually abused young girls and boys in exchange for food. The alleged perpetrators were working as peacekeepers under the authorization of the Security Council – and not under UN command. 

    Nevertheless, the UN has been condemned for failing to respond properly to the allegations at the time. A report 'Taking Action on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by Peacekeepers in the Central African Republic' said the UN’s handling of the situation was "seriously flawed" and didn’t take the proper action when the abuse emerged. 

    "When peacekeepers exploit the vulnerability of the people they have been sent to protect, it is a fundamental betrayal of trust," the report states. 

    UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has already issued a warning that the entire peacekeeping unit in CAR will be sacked if individual countries don’t prosecute the perpetrators. 

    Assoicated Press states that Prince Zeid Raad al-Hussein is liaising with European, Georgian and French authorities over the matter.


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    Number of Sexual Abuses by UN Staff in Central African Republic Reaches 17
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    sex assault, abuse, violence, UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, UN, Africa, Central African Republic
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