CAR: Head CAR peacekeeper resigns amid allegations of sex abuse

13th Aug 2015
CAR: Head CAR peacekeeper resigns amid allegations of sex abuse

BANGUI, Central African Republic (AA): Babacar Gaye, head of the UN peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), resigned on Wednesday shortly after the UN announced the launch of investigations into allegations that MINUSCA peacekeepers had raped a 12-year-old local girl.

After announcing Gaye’s resignation on Wednesday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told reporters at the UN’s New York headquarters that “every allegation must be thoroughly investigated…. enough is enough”.

“I have appointed a high-level external independent panel to look into… reports of sexual exploitation and abuse in the Central African Republic and our systemic response,” Ban said.

“I look forward to receiving their findings soon,” the UN chief added.

Gaye’s resignation – and the launch of the UN probe – comes one day after Amnesty international released a report in which it accused MINUSCA peacekeepers of raping a 12-year-old Central African girl and killing a 16-year-old boy and his father during an August peacekeeping operation in Bangui’s PK5 district.

“Our evidence strongly suggests that a UN peacekeeper raped a young girl and that UN peacekeeping forces indiscriminately killed two civilians,” Joanne Mariner, Amnesty International’s senior crisis response adviser, is quoted as saying in the report.

In July of last year, a Paris prosecutor opened formal investigations into an earlier raft of allegations that at least 14 French soldiers deployed in CAR had sexually abused Central African children.

Author: Felix Nkambeh Tih
[Photo: Armoured cars of UN peacekeeping mission MINUSCA (United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic) patrol on the streets after a Muslim man was burnt to death by a Christian mob on Tuesday, Bangui, Central Africa Republic on 9 October 2014. Photographer: Herve Cyriaque Serefio/Anadolu Agency]
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