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UN investigates new sex abuse claims

By Associated Press in United Nations (China Daily) Updated: 2016-02-17 08:23

The United Nations said on Monday it is investigating new allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation by UN peacekeepers in Central African Republic, including against minors.

UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said details will be announced after an initial probe is completed.

The UN has been unable to explain why so many rapes and other sexual abuse by peacekeepers have been alleged in Central African Republic, which has been gripped by deadly violence between Christians and Muslims since late 2013. Thousands of peacekeepers from the United Nations, African Union and Europe have been deployed since then to help restore peace.

Late last month, UN Assistant Secretary-General Anthony Banbury said there likely were 22 confirmed allegations of sexual abuse or exploitation in the UN peacekeeping mission in Central African Republic in 2015, but the figure could be higher with recent allegations.

As part of a new UN policy, Banbury also for the first time publicly named countries whose troops and police in UN missions had been accused of sexual abuse and exploitation.

He named Congo, Republic of Congo, Bangladesh, Niger and Senegal.

The UN also has started repatriations over sexual abuse and exploitation allegations.

On Monday, Haq said the repatriation of a Congolese battalion in Bambari, where a number of cases have been reported, will start on Feb 25. About 208 replacement troops from Mauritania have already arrived, he said.

Investigators from the Republic of Congo have arrived in CAR to look into recent allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse against their troops, Haq said.

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