Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


2 French soldiers suspended over Burkina child sex claims

01 July 2015, 09:39

Paris - France has suspended two of its soldiers over allegations they sexually abused children, including a five-year-old girl, in the west African country of Burkina Faso, the defence ministry said on Tuesday.

"Two French soldiers on mission in Burkina Faso were suspected... of engaging in acts of a sexual nature with two children," France's defence ministry said in a statement.

The suspensions follow an alleged sex abuse scandal involving French troops in Central African Republic (CAR), which caused outrage and only came to light after claims were leaked to the British press.

Also Read: Burkina parties challenge electoral law change

One of the alleged victims in Burkina Faso was a five-year-old girl whose father found a camera containing images of his daughter being sexually abused.

"There was a soldier who filmed the scene with a camera while the second touched" the girl, a senior police officer in Burkina Faso told AFP, adding that the parents were friends with the alleged perpetrators.

After discovering the camera at the scene, the father went to the French embassy in Ouagadougou, which in turn alerted the police, who have opened an inquiry, the source said.

Paris prosecutors opened their own investigation on Tuesday evening, a judicial source told AFP, while the defence ministry said the military was also looking into the allegations.

Chief of Defence Staff General Pierre de Villiers is leading the army's investigation, and "if the facts are proved, the army will show itself implacable against the two people involved", the ministry said.

Military police investigating

French military police, responsible for investigations into soldiers deployed on overseas operations, will arrive on Wednesday from Niger to investigate alongside their Burkina Faso counterparts, the judicial source said.

There are about 220 French soldiers stationed in Burkina Faso as part of a French anti-terrorism operation covering five regional countries spanning from Mali to Chad.

There are about 900 French soldiers in CAR, where the initial quota of 2 000 was gradually reduced to make way for a UN peacekeeping mission.

Also Read: Kano State proposes partnerships with Burkina Faso

A group of children in CAR alleged troops sexually abused minors at a centre for displaced people in the capital Bangui between December 2013 and June 2014, and 14 French soldiers are under investigation.

Some of the abuse reportedly took place after the children in the conflict-ridden country begged the peacekeepers for food.

The decision to go public and the almost immediate suspension of the two soldiers in the Burkina Faso case contrasts with the treatment of the scandal in CAR, which was only revealed to the public by British newspaper The Guardian.

The CAR case also sparked unease in the French army, which fears that such accusations, founded or not, are increasing.

"This is an army that confronts [such accusations] head on," said the army's chief of staff, General Jean-Pierre Bosser.

"Either these cases are true, which would be extremely serious," he said. "Or, they are not proven, which is just as serious [because]... all our soldiers will be perceived as child rapists."



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...