France urged to bring African abuse troops to trial

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Children have suffered as a result of the ongoing conflict in CAR
OCHA File Photo/Gemma Cortes

A top UN human rights committee has urged France to ensure that those responsible for alleged abuse against minors in the Central African Republic are brought to trial.

The recommendation is among those issued by the committee which has just finished assessing how the French state and six other UN member nations apply international human rights law.

Daniel Dickinson has more.

In its concluding observations on France, the UN's Human Rights Committee said it had raised the issue of allegations of sexual abuse of minors by French soldiers in the Central African Republic.

The claims relate to French troops sent to the CAR to help African Union peacekeepers in 2013 and 2014.

In response, the French delegation had indicated that the matter was being taken seriously and that an investigation was under way.

Here's the UN committee's chairperson, Fabian Salvioli.

"They are starting one investigation and the delegation said of course it is a serious issue, and we started prosecution, but without more information than that."

In a bid for more details from French prosecutors, the UN rights committee requested that further information be provided within a year, rather than when the country is next up for examination.

The committee, which is one of 10 so-called Treaty Bodies that form the UN's human rights system, also assessed six other countries as part of its rolling mandate: the United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, Spain, Canada, Macedonia and Venezuela.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations

Duration: 1'21"

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