- Associated Press - Friday, March 25, 2016

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - The U.N. peacekeeping mission in Central African Republic said Friday it has received new allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation by U.N. and non-U.N. forces as well as civilians.

The United Nations has been in the spotlight for months over allegations of child rape and other sexual abuses by its peacekeepers, especially those based in Central African Republic and Congo. The U.N. said in a report earlier this month that there were 69 allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation by peacekeepers in 2015 - 22 of them in Central African Republic.

A statement from the U.N. mission said the alleged incidents just reported took place in Kemo prefecture, east of the capital Bangui, in 2014 and 2015.

The mission said a U.N. team will be rapidly deployed to the area to investigate and to ensure that victims have been assisted.

The team’s report will be shared with countries whose troops and civilians are alleged to have committed abuses - whether or not they are U.N. personnel- and they will be asked to investigate and take action against perpetrators, the mission said.

A U.N. peacekeeping spokesman said no details were available yet on the nationalities of the alleged perpetrators.

In early March, the U.N. Security Council approved its first-ever resolution tackling the escalating problem of sexual abuse by U.N. peacekeepers who act as predators instead of protectors of vulnerable civilians in some of the world’s most volatile areas.

The resolution endorsed Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s reform plan, including repatriating military or police units involved in “widespread or systemic sexual exploitation and abuse” and replacing contingents where allegations are not properly investigated, perpetrators are not held accountable, or the U.N. isn’t informed on progress of investigations.

The secretary-general’s reforms also require speedier investigations and publishing information about outstanding allegations on a new U.N. website.


On the web: https://bit.ly/25oC1fI

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