UN: UNICEF provides support services for CAR's alleged raped victim

New York, US (PANA) - Officials of the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) have met with a young girl
in the Central African Republic (CAR), reportedly raped by a UN police officer, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said in a statement obtained by PANA in New York on Monday.

Mr. Lake also said that "UNICEF is providing her with every possible help, including medical
assistance and support to deal with the psychological impact of the ordeal."

He stated: "Our UNICEF colleagues in the Central African Republic (CAR) met with the young
girl reportedly raped by a UN police officer, and while respecting the integrity of the
investigation into the incident, it is clear that this child has endured a most brutal ordeal."

He noted that "UNICEF in CAR is offering the reported victim and her family, every possible help, including medical assistance, support to deal with the psychological impact of the
assault, and legal advice."

"Our hope is that the process of healing for this young girl can now begin. It is also important that she is afforded absolute privacy so she does not suffer any further distress," the UNICEF chief concluded.

PANA in New York reports that the UNICEF announcement followed a flurry of action at the highest levels of the UN after the allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation were revealed early last week by the human rights group Amnesty International concerning actions by UN peacekeepers serving with the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).

In the wake of the revelations, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon vowed a decisive action
and immediately announced that he had accepted the resignation of MINUSCA Chief Lt.-Gen. Babacar Gaye, scheduled an urgent meeting with the heads of all UN peace operations and Force Commanders, as well as a special closed-door session of the UN Security Council on the matter.

PANA learnt that Ban told Security Council members of his "distress and shame over reports of sexual exploitation and the abuse of power by UN forces, police or civilian personnel."

The UN chief said: "Even a single allegation represents a serious strike at our institution, we must also bear in mind the profound damage done to credibly carry out the mandates entrusted to us by this very Council."

He also voiced his frustration with what he described as "far too lenient sanctions for such grave acts affecting men, women and, all too often, children, stating that, "the failure to pursue criminal accountability for sexual crimes is tantamount to impunity."

"Let us pledge to do more, much more together to protect civilians and uphold the values of the United Nations," the secretary-general added.
-0- PANA AA/VAO 17Aug2015

17 august 2015 14:44:22

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