An advocacy group has released horrifying details of how at least 98 Central African Republic (CAR) girls were allegedly sexually abused by international peacekeepers.
The report was released by AIDS-Free World, an international advocacy organization, on Wednesday. The group said that MINUSCA, the UN’s peacekeeping mission in CAR, met with local leaders and victims “who reported that troops from France and Gabon have sexually abused several girls in their province.”
The group cited three CAR girls who said that they, along with a fourth girl, were raped by UN peacekeepers.
The girls said they “were tied up and undressed inside a camp by a military commander from the Sangaris force (the French military intervention in CAR) and forced to have sex with a dog,” the group wrote.
After the rape, each girl was reportedly given 5,000 Central African Francs ($9).
“The three girls interviewed sought basic medical treatment. The fourth girl later died of an unknown disease. One of the survivors said that she was called ‘the Sangaris’ dog’ by people in the community.”
According to the group, the alleged perpetrators “left CAR, returning home in 2015.”
Also the organization mentions one more case of a 16-year-old girl who was allegedly raped by a Congolese UN peacekeeper.
The girl’s mother told police that the peacekeeper “raped her daughter in a hotel room at 4pm on Monday, March 28, 2016.”
“When police questioned the accused in the presence of his UN military commander, the soldier confirmed that he ‘had sexual intercourse’ with the victim several times, and paid her between 2,000 and 3,000 Central African Francs [$3-5dollars].”
The report was sent directly to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who immediately issued a response, expressing his horror.
“I am shocked to the core by the latest allegations of abuse by international forces in the Central African Republic. Our focus must be on the victims and their families. We are talking about women and young children who have been traumatized in the worst imaginable way,” Ban said in a statement, released by UN.
He added that these crimes by UN peacekeepers “only fester in silence.”
“Yet, we must face the fact that a number of troops who were sent to protect people instead acted with hearts of darkness.”
Earlier in March the UN Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) said it received new allegations which refer to incidents which occurred in 2014 and 2015 in the Kemo prefecture of the CAR.
The UN investigation into “these sickening allegations, which suggest sexual abuse and exploitation of a large number of women and girls, must leave no stone unturned,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein.
“We are taking these allegations – some of which are particularly odious – extremely seriously. It is vital that the victims are protected and receive all necessary care,” he said.
The United Nations currently has 106,000 troops and police serving in 16 peacekeeping missions.
This is utterly unacceptable! These men must be made an example of and punished severely.
There are so many different faction fighting in the CAR it's mesmerizing, and yet, it seems the children are always the predominant victim, whether as child soldiers, slaves, or sex slaves, even of those who are supposed to protect them.
What a sad commentary on a pathetic country. Surely there is a way to bring peace to the CAR, even if it means the complete annihilation of the various factions. Any faction that rapes and abuses children has no right to exist as far as I'm concerned.