UN council outraged by peacekeeper sexual abuse claims

AFP , Tuesday 18 Aug 2015

File Photo : (AP)

The UN Security Council on Tuesday expressed outrage and anger over allegations of sexual abuse by UN peacekeepers and said troop-contributing countries must investigate.

The 15-member council spoke out following Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's unprecedented decision to fire the mission chief head in the Central African Republic after a string of allegations of child sex abuse by peacekeepers.

The council said in a unanimous statement that it shared Ban's "outrage and anger at these allegations" and recalled that peacekeepers are deployed to protect civilians.

Council members stressed that "the primary responsibility of troop and police contributing countries to investigate these allegations against their uniformed personnel, and, if appropriate to prosecute."

Under UN rules, it is up to the troop-contributing country to investigate and prosecute soldiers accused of misconduct while serving under the UN flag.

But Ban told the council last week that countries often drag their feet and in some cases, nothing is done at all.

The council's move to push countries to investigate was in response to a scandal over mounting allegations targeting troops serving in the Central African Republic, where the United Nations took over an African Union mission nearly a year ago.

The latest allegations revealed by Amnesty International involve a 12-year-old girl who said she was raped by a UN soldier during a search operation in the Muslim PK5 district of the capital city Bangui two weeks ago.

Ban in June appointed a review panel led by former Canadian Supreme Court justice Marie Deschamps to look into how the UN handled separate allegations that French and African troops sexually abused children in the Central African Republic beginning in late 2013.

Those findings are expected in the coming months.



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