‘Horribly possible’: More child-rape cases by peacekeepers could emerge – UN
May 2,United Nations:Following shocking revelations of child sexual abuse by French peacekeeping troops in the Central African Republic, the UN has warned that it is “horribly possible” that information about more such cases may emerge.As the investigation continues into the alleged French crimes and troop misconduct, UN human rights spokesman, Rupert Colville admitted that “it is possible, it’s horribly possible,” that further inquiries will reveal more unreported instances.The French investigation followed numerous reports of sexual exploitation and abuse of children by the French military before the establishment of MINUSCA – the United Nations peacekeeping operation in Central African Republic. The period under investigation is December 2013 through June 2014. Colville called the allegations “abhorrent” and “utterly odious.”
Earlier this week, the Guardian published a leaked UN report exposing a rape case at a center for internally displaced people at M’Poko Airport in CAR’s capital Bangui. It alleges, based on witnesses testimony that French peacekeeping forces instead of protecting children, sodomized starving and homeless boys, some as young as nine. The UN spokesman on Friday admitted that “only the French can do this investigation … fully.” In the meantime Paula Donovan, from the AIDS-Free World said children interviewed also accused soldiers from Chad and Equatorial Guinea of molesting kids. She also accused the UN of trying to cover up the scandal.“You can say it was a UN cover-up,” Paula Donovan, co-director of the AIDS-Free World, told IBT.
“The UN’s disturbingly self-defensive instincts are all about how can we protect the bureaucracy, not how can we protect and treat the victims and prevent any instance of future abuse in these particular locations or in any other locations around the World.” She pointed out that UNICEF and the Commission for Human Rights, after interviewing the first victims, did nothing to apprehend those responsible, despite knowing certain physical traits of the assailants.
The Oslo Times