Rabat - U.N. affiliated peacekeepers from Morocco and Burundi working on a mission in the Central African Republic have been newly accused of committing sexual abusive and exploitative acts over the past two months, The United Nations said on Monday.
Rabat – U.N. affiliated peacekeepers from Morocco and Burundi working on a mission in the Central African Republic have been newly accused of committing sexual abusive and exploitative acts over the past two months, The United Nations said on Monday.
U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Burundian peacekeepers had been accused of raping a 14-year-old girl earlier this month, while a Moroccan soldier had been accused of engaging in an exploitative sexual relationship with a woman in February.
Morocco and Burundi have been notified of the allegations against their soldiers and both countries have 10 days to tell the U.N. if they want to begin an investigation on the accusations, Dujarric added. The U.N. will conduct its own investigation if the international body receives a negative response from the soldier’s home country or does not receive a response at all.
“The Moroccans so far have indicated that they will investigate,” Dujarric said.
The mission – known by its French acronym MINUSCA – was founded in September 2014 after the withdrawal of African Union forces from the area. Dozens of sexual abuse allegations have surfaced against peacekeepers since.
After the Human Rights Watch identified seven new victims of sexual abuse by members of MINUSCA forces in January, the U.N. Security Council endorsed measures earlier this month to allow the U.N. secretary-general to repatriate troops who have engaged in sexually exploitative and abusive actions.
On February 16th, the secretary-general’s office released a report listing one case of transactional sex and two cases of sexual assault in 2015 involving four Moroccan soldiers working at the MINUSCA mission. All three cases were closed due to insufficient evidence after over 150 days of investigation. One of the victims of sexual assault was a minor, the report said.