United Nations peackeepers rape african children

French troops are said to have sexually abused children during their UN peacekeeping operations in the Central African Republic, the Paris prosecutor’s office said on Thursday. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/08/world/europe/france-opens-criminal-inquiry-into-charges-of-abuse-by-peacekeepers-in-africa.html?ref=world
In a statement, the prosecutor’s office said it had opened a formal judicial investigation against unidentified persons on charges of rape and complicity of rape against minors younger than 15, by people who had “abused the authority conferred upon them by their functions.” Independent investigative judges will lead the inquiry.
The Paris prosecutor had opened a preliminary investigation in July after a confidential United Nations report on the allegations was brought to the attention of the French authorities, but the case publicly surfaced last week after a report in The Guardian.
According to the prosecutor’s statement, the United Nations report contains testimony by six children ages 9, 11 and 13. Four of them said they had been abused by French soldiers and two others said they had witnessed the abuse, which is alleged to have occurred at a camp at the M’poko airport, in the capital, Bangui, between December 2013 and last June. The airport was guarded by French troops who were sent to the Central African Republic late in 2013 to quell a spreading sectarian conflict.
The Paris prosecutor said in the statement that while the author of the United Nations report had agreed to testify in Paris as early as last August, the United Nations had agreed only to her answering a set of written questions. The answers were received late last month, the statement said. The French Defense Ministry has denied any cover-up and has urged the
soldiers involved in the case to come forward. On Wednesday, the authorities in the Central African Republic were quoted by Agence France-Presse as saying that they would also take legal action against the French soldiers accused of the abuse.

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