New allegations of sexual abuse against four girls by UN PeacekeepersListen /
New allegations of sexual abuse against four girls by UN Peacekeepers serving in the Central African Republic have been made.
The head of the UN Mission in the country, MINUSCA, is investigating the allegations, and said there would be "no complacency" shown towards any personnel found guilty of abuse.
Matthew Wells reports.
The head of MINUSCA and UN Special Representative, Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, said that every allegation of sexual exploitation and abuse would be thoroughly investigated, and that in this latest case, a fact-finding mission was already underway.
He said that UN personnel were collaborating to establish the facts, and said there was "no place in UN peacekeeping for those who betray the trust of the people we are here to help".
His predecessor in the job was asked to resign by the Secretary-General last August following earlier allegations of sexual abuse against blue helmets in the Central African Republic.
The UN spokesperson in New York, Stéphane Dujarric, read out part of the statement from the Special Representative's office.
“Over the past week, UNICEF staff from the office in Bangui have undertaken four visits to meet with the four alleged victims. UNICEF is also working with local partners to help the girls receive medical care and is assessing their psychosocial needs. The girls were also provided with clothes, shoes and hygiene kits.”
Mr Onanga-Anyanga said that he was committed to the UN Secretary-General's Zero Tolerance policy against abuse, and that measures were already underway to establish a new "joint brigade" to identify perpetrators and prevent any further occurrence.
Matthew Wells, United Nations.