CENTRAL AFRICA, FRENCH MILITIA ACCUSED OF CHILD-ABUSE Money and food in exchange for sexual favours: this is the testimony of some minors heard by Unicef and Unhcr

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It was supposed to be a peace-mission bringing security, on the contrary, the French peacekeeping Force in the Central African Republic has turned into a real nightmare. Something to eat or some money in exchange for sexual favors. So the UN soldiers have been caught up in a storm due to accusations of paedophilia. The Guardian released an investigation based on a dossier that would document the sexual harassement and acts of sodomy by United Nations soldiers in Paris on children met in the Central African Republic.

The facts date back between 2013 and 2014 during the Minusca Mission in the capital Bangui. Here the French troops were supposed to take care of homeless children in a centre set up at the M’poko airport, but ongoing surveys seems to have perpetrated acts of violence and rape. One of these children, as young as nine, described the abuses it had been subjected to by explaining that in return she received food and small sums of money.

Already Unhcr in 2014 had opened an investigation with the cooperation of Unicef where it listened to the testimonies of children who gave a description of military leaders concerned, collecting information in a dossier titled “Sexual Abuses on Children by International Armed Forces”. The French judiciary have allegedly received the material by Anders Kompass, a veteran of the United Nations High Commissioner for refugees, but was suspended for having reported the facts to the authorities without going through the UN. In the past, the ‘Blue Helmets’ were at the centre of the same charges,as in the case of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kosovo and Bosnia, “dark”pages which the glass palace would rather forget. Similar cases also in Haiti, Burundi,Liberia, Sri Lanka, Cambodia and in most cases the perpetrators remained unpunished.

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