"Sickening" sex abuse allegations uncovered in CAR

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Blue helmets and uniforms of UN Peacekeepers. UN File Photo/Marco Dormino

The latest allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation uncovered in the past two weeks in the Central African Republic have been described as "sickening" by the UN human rights chief.

Charges have been made against UN troops from Burundi and Gabon, French Sangari Forces as well as local armed groups in the Kemo region in the central African nation.

Most of the crimes are said to have happened between 2013 and 2015.

Jocelyne Sambira has more.

The ongoing inquiry suggests that a large number of women and girls in the Kemo region of the Central African Republic have been subjected to sexual abuse and exploitation.

Media reports say Burundian and Gabonese contingents have been confined to their camps following the accusations and that there have been cases of bestiality involving French troops.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein called the allegations "sickening" and "odious" vowing to leave no stone unturned in the investigation.

Zeid also confirmed that the authorities of all three countries have been formally notified of the allegations against their troops.

Sending these soldiers home in disgrace is "grossly inadequate", he said, urging States to do more to stop the abuse and punish the perpetrators.

Meanwhile, the High Commissioner vowed the UN would do its utmost to expose these crimes as they occur and to push for accountability.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

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