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UN probing sex abuse allegations against Gabonese peacekeepers in CAR

 
United Nations, Oct 9 (IANS) UN officials are investigating sexual abuse allegations against Gabonese peacekeepers in the Central African Republic (CAR) involving 32 victims, including eight children

National Gabonese authorities and the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services are conducting the inquiry, said Stephane Dujarric, the chief spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

The UN Senior Victims' Rights Advocate in the CAR is supporting the investigation, Xinhua news agency quoted Dujarric as saying.

"A total of 11 paternity claims have been recorded with this allegation, where either the child has been born or the victim is currently pregnant," he said.

The identities of the 51 alleged perpetrators are unknown, pending results of the investigation.

The UN mission in the CAR, known as MINUSCA, and the Senior Victims' Rights Officer "are on site assisting with the investigation and ensuring the victims' rights and dignity are upheld", the spokesman said.

The alleged abuse and exploitation occurred from 2014 until earlier this year, he said.

Last month, the secretary-general ordered 410 Gabonese soldiers, including their leadership, repatriated to Gabon.

The spokesman said the last 40 Gabonese soldiers remain in the CAR to safeguard and pack up the contingent's equipment.

--IANS
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