UN: UN mission in CAR vows full investigation into allegations of abuse by peacekeepers

New York, US (PANA) - The UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) says it is determined to investigate fully all allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse by its forces in the country and to hold to account perpetrators of such acts.

A UN  spokesperson, Ms. Vannina Maestracci, who briefed reporters on Tuesday, said: "Investigations into recent allegations of sexual assault on a minor and killings by UN forces in Bangui are ongoing."

She noted that, information gathered by the Human Rights and Child Protection sections and the MINUSCA police have been submitted to the UN internal oversight body (OIOS), which is mandated to investigate cases of alleged misconduct by UN forces, identify perpetrators and ensure accountability for victims.

"The investigation is complicated by the numerous nationalities of police and military personnel involved in the operations launched in the 'PK5' area of the capital, Bangui on 2 and 3 August," she said.

Ms. Maestracci also said that "MINUSCA will not publish preliminary findings that may be
prejudicial to the ongoing investigation."

"Adopting a position of transparency if its forces commit abuses, MINUSCA’s stance is that
its own peacekeepers be held to the same high standards as that expected of others," the
spokesperson added.

She also said that the mission was determined to punish any acts of misconduct, including
sexual violence by its personnel, hence the importance of protecting the integrity of the
investigations and the confidentiality of victims and witnesses.

She stressed: "MINUSCA reiterates its utter determination to enforce the UN Secretary-General's zero tolerance policy against sexual exploitation or abuse by its personnel."

The spokesperson also disclosed that the mission’s Child Protection Section, with UNICEF, is offering appropriate support to the victim of the alleged sexual assault.

Issuing its own statement, MINUSCA declared: "All allegations of misconduct by UN staff in the Central African Republic (CAR) are taken extremely seriously, and are the subject of thorough investigation."

MINUSCA stressed that it will work with troop contributing countries to ensure that any of its uniformed personnel found to be responsible for human rights violations in CAR, including sexual exploitation and abuse, are held to account.

In July, six peacekeepers were repatriated for excessive use of force against detainees.

Since its creation in April 2014, MINUSCA has investigated 57 cases of misconduct, of which 11 involved allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse.
-0- PANA AA/VAO 18Aug2015

18 august 2015 13:59:30

xhtml CSS