CAR UN envoy: Abuse by peacekeepers will not be tolerated Head of UN peacekeeping mission in Central African Republic says culprits will be punished if charges are true

BANGUI, Central African Republic – (AA) Incidents of sexual abuse committed by UN peacekeepers against local children in the Central African Republic (CAR) will not be tolerated, the head of the UN’s peacekeeping mission in the central African country said.

Babacar Gaye, head of the UN’s Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), made the assertion at a Thursday press conference held at the mission’s Bangui headquarters.

On Tuesday, Stephane Dujarric, a spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, said the allegations against the foreign peacekeepers had been referred to the member state that had contributed the troops.

Dujarric, however, refrained from naming the country in question, saying merely that the alleged violations had occurred this year and in 2014 and that medical assistance was being provided to the victims.

At Thursday’s press conference, Gaye stressed that the CAR government had informed the world body of the charges, adding that the UN – along with MINUSCA – was committed to “clarifying” the allegations.

If the accusations are proven to be true, he asserted, those responsible would be punished severely.

French peacekeepers deployed in CAR were earlier accused of sexually abusing local children in late 2013 and mid-2014.

Earlier this month, Ban unveiled an independent panel tasked with investigating allegations that French peacekeepers had been involved in the abuse.

On Monday, the UN announced that a former Canadian supreme court judge would conduct a review into how the UN had handled the allegations.

MINUSCA was established in 2014 by a UN Security Council resolution.

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