UN Investigates Sex Abuse Allegations in C.A.R

The U.N. peacekeeping mission in Central African Republic is conducting an extensive investigation of the Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 3.52.36 PMalleged rape of a 14-year-old girl by peacekeepers from Burundi in early March as well as the sexual exploitation of a woman by a member of the Moroccan military contingent in February. U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said that these recent allegations are but a small portion of the reported allegations by U.N forces, non-U.N. forces and Kemo prefecture east of the capital Bangui in 2014 and 2015.

The U.N. recently dispatched a team to the Kemo area to collect more information about the allegations and their origins. The United Nations has been under close watch these past for months for allegations of child rape and other sexual abuses by its peacekeepers, especially those stationed in Central African Republic and Congo.

The allegations registered with the U.N. mission Central African Republic have totaled to 25 in January and February, many reports from previous years. This number towers over a total of six allegations in the 15 other U.N. peacekeeping missions, the U.N. peacekeeping department said.

A U.N. report earlier this month said there were 69 allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation by peacekeepers in 2015 — 22 of them held by the Central African Republic.

Dujarric said the alleged rape of the 14-year-old girl by peacekeepers from Burundi was reported to the U.N. mission last week by the U.N. children’s agency, UNICEF. He said that the victim has received medical and psychological aid, but provided no other identification.

The U.N. mission also received a report that an unidentified Moroccan peacekeeper was allegedly engaged in “an exploitative sexual relationship” with a local woman in the southeastern city of Bangassou in February, he said.

Members of the U.N. say that they have been in contact with the authorities in Burundi and Morocco, and that investigators will be sent to the location shortly.

In early March, the U.N. Security Council approved its first-ever resolution confronting the increasing problem of sexual abuse by U.N. peacekeepers who serve as predators instead as protectors.

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