UN: UN reports new allegations of sexual misconduct by peacekeepers in CAR

New York, US (PANA) - A series of new disturbing allegations of misconduct in Central
African Republic (CAR) were announced Wednesday by Ms. Diane Corner, the UN Deputy
Special Representative and Deputy Head of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization
Mission in in CAR (MINUSCA).

At a press conference in Bangui, the CAR capital, Ms. Corner said: "These new
allegations relate to a case where three young females, including one minor, were victims
of rape by members of a MINUSCA military contingent."

She noted that the mission was informed of these allegations on 12 August by the families
of the three women.

These allegations came on the heels of a case reported on 11 August by the human rights
group, Amnesty International, also regarding MINUSCA peacekeepers, and the day after the
incident was revealed, MINUSCA chief, Lt-Gen. Babacar Gaye, resigned at the request of
the UN Secretary-General.

A UN statement on the press conference quoted the UN deputy envoy in CAR, as saying
on learning of the charges, the mission immediately informed the UN headquarters in
New York, which notified the UN Office of the Internal Oversight Services and the relevant
troop-contributing country.

"Per procedure, within 10 days, the country should notify the organization whether it
intends to investigate these allegations itself, and if the country fails to open an
investigation or does not respond to the request of UN headquarters, the organization
will launch its own investigation," she said.

She assured that MINUSCA will make sure to preserve all available evidence related to
the allegations, saying, "assuming the penal responsibility, the contributing country
is ultimately responsible for the good conduct of its own peacekeepers, and the mission
and the agencies it partners with provide assistance to victims of such claims."

Ms. Corner reiterated MINUSCA’s firm commitment to fight all forms of misconduct
by its personnel, and called for anyone with information in this regard to share it
with the mission, which will guarantee anonymity and protection.

Last week, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that it was critical that troop
contributing countries take swift action to appoint national investigation officers,
conclude investigations and hold perpetrators accountable.

Deployed in early 2014, MINUSCA is currently aiming to defuse sectarian tensions
across the country.

More than two years of civil war and violence have displaced thousands of people
following ongoing clashes between the mainly Muslim Seleka alliance and
anti-Balaka militia, who are mostly Christian.

In addition, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) continues to operate in the
southeastern part of the country.

The situation of deep instability is further exacerbated by a growing humanitarian
crisis.

The UN estimates that some 450,000 people remain displaced inside the country
while thousands of others have sought asylum across the borders, and overall
some 2.7 million people in CAR remain in direct need of urgent humanitarian
assistance.
-0-  PANA   AA/AR  19August2015

19 august 2015 18:10:35




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