Central African Republic children 'abused by EU troops' - UN

  • 29 January 2016
  • From the section Africa
A soldier of the European Union Force (Eufor) in the Central African Republic patrols a street in Bangui (8 May 2014) Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption New allegations against EU troops have surfaced

The UN says it has new allegations of child sex abuse by European troops in the Central African Republic (CAR).

A number of girls aged between 14 and 16 have alleged they were raped by Georgian members of the EU's operation Eufor, the UN says.

Meanwhile a seven-year-old girl and a nine-year-old boy said they were abused by French troops.

The troops were sent to stem violence between Christian militias and largely Muslim rebels.

The rebels seized power in March 2013 - in response, the militias took up arms against them.

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The abuse is alleged to have taken place near a camp for displaced people near Bangui Airport in 2014 but only came to light in recent weeks during interviews with a UN team.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad al-Hussein said he was "extremely alarmed" at the continuing allegations against peacekeeping troops.

Last December an independent panel criticised the UN's handling of abuse allegations in the CAR, calling it "seriously flawed" and a "gross institutional failure".

It accused senior UN officials of abusing their authority by failing to take action over allegations of abuse by soldiers from France, Equatorial Guinea and Chad.

France sent 2,000 troops to to its former colony in 2013 and began handing over responsibility to UN peacekeepers last year.

Keeping the peace in CAR

Image copyright Huong Ly/BBC
  • A 10,000-strong UN force took over a peacekeeping mission in September 2014
  • France has about 2,000 troops in its ex-colony, first deployed in December 2013