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    Three children living in the Internally displaced people (IDP) camp of Mpoko and claiming to be victims or witnesses of sex abuses on minors by peacekeepers soldiers of Sangaris operation pose on February 11, 2016, in Bangui.

    'Horrific' CAR Crimes: Petition Calls for Removal of #PredatoryPeacekeepers

    © AFP 2018 / Issouf Sanogo
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    Petition calling for the immediate withdrawal of all French troops from Central African Republic has started amid more allegations soldiers working as UN peacekeepers paid young African girls for sex while fresh accusations emerge that UN peacekeepers abused women and girls in Congo.

    "I have been keeping track of UN peacekeepers crimes since 2012," filmmaker Samantha Asumadu, who started the petition, told Sputnik.

    "This one was one too many and the lack of interest by mainstream press compelled me to do at least something with our small means," Asumadu said.

    A recent report by the AIDS-Free World's Code Blue stated that UN and French troops based in Central African Republic (CAR) had abused at least 98 girls.

    "Saturday, March 27, 2016, the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and a delegation from MINUSCA, the UN's peacekeeping mission in CAR, met with local leaders and victims who reported that troops from France and Gabon have sexually abused several girls in their province," a press release by Code Blue states.

    "The nature of these crimes are too horrific to ignore," Asumadu told Sputnik.

    It also emerged during the visit that four young girls were forced to have sex with a dog for US$9, (5000 Central African Francs). One girl later died of an unknown disease. 

    The three survivors told a MINUSCA human rights officer that they had been tied up and undressed inside a camp by a military commander from the Sangaris force — the French military in CAR — and made to have sex with a dog.

    One survivor said she was called "the Sangaris' dog" by members of her community. The incident took place in 2014, according to the Code Blue campaign which also revealed that a mother of a 16-year-old girl told local police that a Congolese UN peacekeeper had raped her daughter in a hotel room on 28 March, 2016.

    "When police questioned the accused in the presence of his UN military commander, the soldier confirmed that he 'had sexual intercourse' with the victim several times, and paid her between 2000 and 3000 Central African Francs."

    Samantha Asumadu tweets using hasthtag #UN crimes to highlight newly reported abuses.

    "We all have a responsibility to act as they carry out peacekeeping missions in our name," Asumadu said.

    Asumadu says the UN is making "excuses after excuses" and even claim the allegations are historic and date between 2014 and 2015.

    "Which is simply not true — there are abuses from then but even some reported as lately as last month."

    Following the recent revelations of more abuse of young girls by UN peacekeepers, an urgent crisis meeting was called by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's chief of staff Edmond Mulet on March 29, according to the Code Blue campaign.

    The crimes discussed included allegations in 2013, 2014 and 2015, that "may been perpetrated by a combination of non-UN and UN" peacekeeping personnel, sources say.

    The UN has already asked three countries to investigate previous claims that girls had been abused by soldiers serving in the MINUSCA mission.

    However, this is not the first time UN peacekeepers have been accused of paying for sex with children living in a camp for displaced people in CAR.

    Claims French troops sexually abused young children in exchange for food emerged in 2014.

    New Allegations

    And fresh cases of sexual abuse have just emerged in Congo. The UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo says it had received new allegations of sexual abuse involving five Tanzanian peacekeepers and one South African contingent who had sexually abused and exploited five women and six girls, leaving them all pregnant.

    The UN has already received widespread condemnation from human rights groups and children's charities for failing to respond quickly enough and take the correct actions surrounding the allegations of sexual abuse.

    "We demand accountability. And we demand it now!" the petition, which has 4,186 signatures states.

    "We are also demanding the immediate removal of French troops from CAR. France is a permanent member of the UN Security Council. Their removal from CAR would be a strong indication that this time finally the UN intend to take the abuses of African children by supposed peacekeepers seriously," filmmaker Samantha Asumadu told Sputnik.

    "Hence why we have started the twitter hashtag #PredatoryPeacekeepers."


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    UN peacekeepers, bestiality, sexual abuse, rape, children, abuse, petition, troops, peacekeeping mission, United Nations, Africa, Central African Republic
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