New sexual abuse allegations against UN peacekeepers in CAR

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Peacekeepers serving with the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) escort a UN delegation in Bambari. UN File Photo/Catianne Tijerina

Seven new allegations of sexual exploitation by United Nations peacekeepers in the Central African Republic are being investigated by the UN mission in the country.

The investigation comes following a series of allegations in which soldiers serving under the UN have been accused of abusing minors.

Dianne Penn reports.

The UN mission, MINUSCA, says it received details of the allegations in the town of Bambari from a team of Human Rights Watch researchers.

MINUSCA says there was "sufficient initial evidence" that five of the victims were minors and had been sexually abused.

One adult had also been sexually exploited.

The seventh alleged victim, reportedly a minor, has not yet been interviewed.

The soldiers implicated are from the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The head of MINUSCA, Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, who travelled to Bambari on Thursday, expressed his "outrage and shame."

"It's a sad day because I got to know and to see with my own eyes the depth of the problem and I have to say to start with, that there is not going to be a quick-fix on this matter, and that's the sad news. Therefore if you take the entire UN family, it's not just a problem of MINUSCA it's a problem that is so multi-faceted that they will really take a holistic approach, in which the UN in all its components, will have to engage to provide a response to the plight of the people we are already supposed to be protecting."

He told the troops that sexual abuse and exploitation was "a double crime that affects the vulnerable women and children" they were sent to protect.

Dianne Penn, United Nations

Duration: 1’31″

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