This is why UN peacekeepers need a ‘sabbatical’ from the CAR

Peacekeepers or perverts?

The United Nations (UN) has uncovered 108 cases in which peacekeepers were accused of sexual abuse against children. The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) has been under investigation by the UN since 2015, after several accusations of human rights violations were levied against international peacekeeping agents. The rate of the sexual assault accusations on women and children were alarming enough for Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary General, to call for the resignation of the former UN mission chief – Babacar Gaye.

However, recently, the investigative reports published by AIDS free world and UNICEF suggest that more drastic actions need to be taken by the UN. According to news sources, UNICEF interviewed over 90 girls who all claimed that they had been subjected to bestiality by these international peacekeepers.

In 2014, a MINUSCA human rights officer was told by a group of girls that they “were tied up and undressed inside a camp by a military commander and were “forced to have sex with a dog,” after which they were given some money, equivalent to 9 pounds. In the press release by AIDS Free World, they claimed that one of the girls died later of an unknown disease, while the rest of them had to face ridicule from members of their community.

For the UN, which earlier claimed that the prevalence of sexual abuse and exploitation among its peacekeepers had diminished, they now realise that the battle is far from over. According to the UN spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric, a team has been sent to the Central African Republic (CAR) to investigate the alleged incidences. He also expressed his shock over the allegation and promised an “exemplary disciplinary action” for those guilty of the act.

The last thing the CAR (which has been faced with religious violence for three years) needs is child abuse and it is allegedly repeatedly perpetrated by the peacekeepers. If the United Nations cannot find a solution to this, perhaps, it’s time for them to be withdrawn from the country in order to protect the children who are the most vulnerable.

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