UN: New allegations of sexual abuse resurface against UN peacekeepers in CAR

New York, US (PANA) - After new reports of sexual exploitation and abuse surfaced
against troops of the UN peacekeeping mission in Central African Republic (CAR),
the head of the mission, Mr. Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, strongly condemned the alleged
incidents and announced that a multi-functional team would be dispatched to the location
to gather facts.

A UN statement obtained by PANA in New York on Friday, quoted Mr. Onanga-Anyanga,
who is also the UN Special Representative in CAR, condemning the acts as
"completely unacceptable" and emphasized his commitment to ensure "justice is
served in each and every case."

He said the mission, known by the French acronym MINUSCA, plans to dispatch a
multi-functional team to the location to gather the facts, sensitize the troops involved,
and to take immediate preventive and disciplinary measures and more broadly to take
corrective action against misconduct behaviour throughout the mission.

He reiterated his intention to take swift and appropriate measures should the
allegations be substantiated.

"Although MINUSCA troops put their lives at risk to bravely protect CAR civilians
every day with limited means and in harsh conditions, any single incident of abuse
is utterly abhorrent," he stressed.

Mr. Onanga-Anyanga also expressed sadness that reports of sexual abuse and
exploitation continue to emerge in spite of all MINUSCA’s transparency policy and
zero tolerance policy and efforts to prevent, investigate, and ensure accountability
for such misconduct.

The statement indicated that the new allegations followed what the UN has
confirmed to be 63 allegations of misconduct at the mission since it began
operations last year.

UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Herve Ladsous
had reported after a four-day visit to CAR in September that "out of these 63
allegations, 15 relate to possible sexual exploitation and abuse, and most of
those cases are under investigation."

"Fifteen cases is definitely too much, and I had a long meeting with uniformed
personnel in Bangui, I gave them a very, very, strong worded speech based,
of course, on what the UN Secretary-General himself had said when the problem
surfaced," Mr. Ladsous stated.

The UN peacekeeping official statement on the issue was shortly followed by a
meeting at UN headquarters with troop- and police-contributing countries.

PANA recalled that at the meeting, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon outlined
specific actions aimed at ending sexual exploitation and abuse by UN personnel
that require "urgent" support from countries that provide troops and police to
peacekeeping operations.
-0-   PANA  AA/AR  13Nov2015

13 november 2015 13:53:18

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