The United Nations recently made a shocking announcement that their investigations have revealed accusations that French peacekeepers posted in the Central African Republic (CAR) have raped over 100 children and even forced four girls to have sex with a dog. Stephane Dujarric, United Nations spokesman, said that the allegations were shocking and that disciplinary actions would be instituted if they were found to be true. The allegations were first announced by AIDS Free World and date back to 2013.
According to Aljazeera, one of their reporters, James Bays, says that allegations continue to come in.
“This issue has been out there in the public for almost a year [but] the allegations keep on coming. People who were sent to protect the civilians are in fact becoming the perpetrators.”
A United States-based advocacy group revealed in a special report that three girls in CAR said that a French military commander tied them up in 2014 and forced them to have sex with a dog. A fourth girl who was also attacked later died of an unknown disease. Investigators were told that after being forced to have sex with the dog that they were each given the equivalent of $9. The United Nations has not yet been able to confirm this allegation but continues to investigate.
This is what your forces do in other countries: "French soldier made four girls have sex with a DOG according to… https://t.co/kbvGwvsPYJ
— Tabrez (@tabrezjanjua) April 7, 2016
Just last week another accusation was made to local police by the mother of a 16-year-old that a Congolese peacekeeper raped her daughter in a hotel room. When the soldier was questioned he admitted that he had had “sexual intercourse” with the girl on several occasions and had paid her after each encounter.
Primary allegations are being made against French peacekeepers known as Sangaris. Peacekeepers from two other countries – Burundi and Gabon – have also been accused of similar abuses. Leaders of all three countries have been made aware of the allegations against their troops.
Fox News reports that the United Nations has been in the spotlight for months with regard to child rape and other sexual abuses by peacekeepers, with a primary focus on those being committed in CAR. Investigators from the U.N. are still on location gathering facts and investigating the allegations.
The U.N. has widened the scope of its investigations into the allegations, writes Vice News, and said that “the exact number and nature of these extremely troubling allegations are still being determined.”
A report released last year, “Taking Action on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by Peacekeepers,” condemned the U.N. for not responding to child abuse allegations in “a meaningful way,” according to Aljazeera. This was after initial reports began to come in that young boys were being abused by French soldiers.
“The end result was a gross institutional failure to respond to the allegations in a meaningful way.”
The investigative panel concluded that the U.N. continued to pass the buck internally, as no one was willing to take responsibility for the allegations. In the initial allegations, some of the children were as young as six years of age. Investigators were told that the children would approach French soldiers looking for food and were told by the soldiers that they would be given food if they would be willing to perform sex acts in exchange for it.
French troops accused of 'forcing girls into bestiality' in CAR as rape claims mount against UN peacekeepers | https://t.co/TnBFwm7xhZ
— ItsTheXfactor (@ItsTheXfactor) April 6, 2016
Although troops from three countries are at the core of the allegations, the accusations against the French peacekeepers are particularly incriminating in that they apparently involve senior French officials, the incidents of sexual abuse occurred in central locations, and many witnesses were privy to the acts.
Human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein called the accusations “sickening.”
“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 report condemning the U.N. for its failure to address the abuses identified Zeid’s office as one of the primary reasons for the U.N.’s failure to act, citing that the office failed to both escalate initial reports or notify national authorities.
[Photo by Enric Marti/AP Images]