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Probe into sexual abuse in Central African Republic must ‘leave no stone unturned’ – UN rights chief

Probe into sexual abuse in Central African Republic must ‘leave no stone unturned’ – UN rights chief – 31 March 2016 – The United Nations human rights chief today described the latest reports of sexual exploitation and abuse in the Central African Republic as “sickening,” calling for a thorough investigation into alleged conducts by UN and French troops, as well as local armed groups.

“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,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said. “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.”

The States to whom these troops belong must do more to stop the abuse happening, to punish those committing these acts with appropriate sentences, and to prevent further violations.

Most of the allegations relate to Burundian and Gabonese contingents present in the Kemo region between 2013 and 2015, as well as to the separate French Sangaris force stationed in the same region in the same period. Allegations of abuse in other parts of the country are also continuing to be investigated.

“The States to whom these troops belong must do more to stop the abuse happening, to punish those committing these acts with appropriate sentences, and to prevent further violations,” Mr. Zeid said. “Otherwise this awful cycle of abuse will never end.”

Simply being sent home in disgrace is a grossly inadequate response to acts such as raping minors, he stressed. The UN has vowed to do its utmost to expose such crimes when they occur, and to do everything in its power to encourage and cajole States to do far more than they are doing at present.

Read more: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=53583#.Vv57qFhwaM8



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