Rights chief slams new "odious" CAR abuse allegations

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UN Human Rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said member states should investigate all allegations swiftly. Photo: UN/Jean-Marc Ferré

Fresh allegations of sexual abuse by peacekeeping troops in Central African Republic (CAR) have been condemned by the UN's human rights chief, who's currently visiting the country.

According to reports, a girl was allegedly sexually abused a year ago by a member of Sangaris, the French military force in CAR, and had a child in April.

UN Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said that the French authorities have been informed, before reiterating the obligation to investigate such cases in what he called "a timely manner".

Daniel Johnson has more.

The identity or whereabouts of the girl involved in this latest case of alleged abuse in Central African Republic have not been revealed.

But in a statement from the UN's human rights office, OHCHR, what is known is that the teenager is now a mother, after giving birth in April this year.

The development, which surfaced only days ago, has come during an official visit to CAR by the UN's Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein.

He said the claims of sexual abuse involving a member of Sangaris, the French military force in CAR, were "odious" and only "the latest in a series of appalling allegations" linked to foreign troops in the country.

Here's Cécile Pouilly, OHCHR spokesperson:

"Basically, these soldiers are being sent to protect civilians and what they do is that they abuse their positions of power, and they end up in abusing even under-age children."

In a statement, the rights chief explained although this case did not involve UN peacekeepers, there have been a number of other allegations where they are implicated.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations, Geneva.

Duration: 1'01"

 

 

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