UN: UN human rights chief deplores new allegation of sexual abuse in CAR

New York, US (PANA) - UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Ra’ad Al-Hussein
on Thursday said a UN staff in Central African Republic (CAR) learned on 30 August
that a girl was allegedly sexually abused around a year ago by a member of the French
military force there, known as Sangaris.

"The girl, who is believed to have been in her mid to late teens at the time of the alleged
abuse, gave birth to a child in April," Mr. Al-Hussein, said in a statement, obtained by
PANA in New York.

He noted that the allegations followed cases reported in August by the
human rights group Amnesty International, involving troops from the United Nations
Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the CAR (MINUSCA).

"This is the latest in a series of appalling allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse
by foreign troops in CAR, although this particular case did not involve UN peacekeepers,
there have been a number of other cases in CAR and elsewhere.

"We simply have to find ways to prevent such odious acts being committed by any
soldiers anywhere who are supposed to be protecting vulnerable populations," the
UN human rights chief stated.

Mr. Al-Hussein, who is currently visiting CAR, said that the French authorities have
been informed of this latest allegation, and that the United Nations stands ready to
assist in an investigation.

He added that governments of countries which contribute troops to UN
peacekeeping operations have an obligation to investigate all such cases in a timely

"Any UN or other foreign military personnel found guilty must be given sentences
that fit the crime," he stressed.

The UN human rights chief also said that his office was working closely with MINUSCA,
and with the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), which, through its partners, will provide
psycho-social support and legal assistance for the girl and her family.

The victim has reportedly lodged a paternity case with the local authorities.
-0-  PANA  AA/AR  3Sept2015

03 september 2015 16:37:32

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