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Suspects in peacekeeper sexual abuse case are Burundian - UN

08 July 2016, 13:48

United Nations – The latest UN peacekeepers accused of sexually abusing minors in the Central African Republic are from a Burundian contingent, a spokesperson said on Thursday.

The alleged abuse, which dates back to May and took place in the central region of Kemo, reportedly involved a 12-year-old and another minor under 18.

The United Nations announced on Friday that it was opening an investigation into the matter.

"The troops-contributing country in question is Burundi," UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said on Thursday, refusing to rule out that the contingent would be sent home.

"We have to let the investigation go through on this particular case," he said. "All options remain on the table, including repatriation."

The UN has already withdrawn entire contingents of peacekeepers in similar cases. However, it falls to the countries of origin to investigate and punish offenders.

Some 12 000 people serve in the UN's Central Africa peacekeeping mission, known as MINUSCA.

The latest annual report by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon counted 69 cases of sexual abuse by peacekeepers in 2015, half of which occurred in two missions: MINUSCA and MONUSCO in the DR Congo.



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