French Prosecutors Want CAR Child-Rape Case Dropped

Prosecutors in Paris have called for the case to be dropped against French soldiers facing allegations they raped children in the Central African Republic while on a peacekeeping mission.

What happens next is up to investigating judges in France, but as no one has been charged a trial appears unlikely.

France opened a first probe into the child rape allegations in 2014 concerning French soldiers deployed in Central African Republic to restore security after months of violence between rebels and militia fighters.

The prosecutor believes sexual abuse may have occurred during the 2013-2014 deployment but “differences in the testimonies” meant it was not possible to establish guilt among the French troops, a source close to the case told French news agency AFP.

British daily The Guardian first revealed the accusations to the public in April 2015, reporting that six children aged between nine and 13 had said they were abused in a camp for displaced people in CAR’s capital Bangui.

Since then, other reports have emerged about troops’ alleged involvement in sexual attacks and giving children food and sometimes small amounts of money for sexual services.

Six French soldiers were questioned but none were charged and all denied committing any sexual abuse.  Read or Listen to this story on the RFI website.

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16 March 2016

Central African Republic: Days of ‘Silence’ On Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Are Over, Says UN Envoy in Central African Republic

The United Nations is sending a very strong signal that the days of silence and compromission with behaviour related to sexual exploitation and abuse by its troops are over, according to the UN envoy in the Central African Republic (CAR).

Parfait Onanga-Anyanga was appointed head of the UN Mission in the CAR (MINUSCA) last August after his predecessor resigned amid allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse against peacekeepers under his command.

In 2015, 22 of the 69 cases against peacekeepers serving under the UN flag took place in the CAR, and fresh allegations have surfaced in 2016. While the Organization is taking new measures to protect from these crimes, including through a recent Security Council resolution, Mr. Onanga-Anyanga told the UN News Centre that “this is appalling,” and it is unacceptable “that anyone working under the blue flag could be seen not as a protector but as a predator.”

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28 March 2016

Central African Republic: UN Reports More Sexual Abuse Cases by Peacekeepers in CAR

The United Nations has received allegations of two new cases of sexual abuse by U.N. peacekeepers in the Central African Republic.

A U.N. spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, said Monday the latest cases raise the number of reported allegations of sexual abuse by peacekeepers in C.A.R. this year to 25.

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