New York - The 12-year-old girl who was allegedly raped by a UN peacekeeper in the Central African Republic "endured a most brutal ordeal", according to the UN Children's Fund, while the UN mission said on Monday it was investigating the case.
Stopping short of confirming the rape, the Unicef Executive Director Anthony Lake said his colleagues had met the girl and offered her "every possible help" including medical and psychological assistance and legal advice, according to a statement issued over the weekend.
"While respecting the integrity of the investigation into the incident, it is clear that this child has endured a most brutal ordeal," Lake said.
The UN mission to CAR said on Monday that the investigation into the alleged sexual assault was ongoing, however, it was "complicated by the large number of nationalities of police and military personnel involved in the operations" when the assault allegedly took place.
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The mission and the UN system came under fire last week after human rights watchdog Amnesty International reported on Tuesday that a 12-year-old girl had been raped on August 2 in the capital Bangui while UN troops from Rwanda and Cameroon were carrying out operations during armed clashes.
The rights organisation also said peacekeepers allegedly killed a 16-year-old boy and his father in the same area the following day when the troops began shooting at people indiscriminately.
In an unprecendented move, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Wednesday fired the UN mission's head, Babacar Gaye of Senegal, as the new allegation came on the heels of multiple other reports of sexual abuse by UN troops in the country.
Currently, there are 11 investigations into possible sexual assaults by peacekeepers in CAR since the UN mission began in April 2014.