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Countries Urged to Vet Troops, Police before Joining Peace Missions :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Countries Urged to Vet Troops, Police before Joining Peace Missions

Allegations of the sexual abuse of children by foreign soldiers serving in the Central African Republic have been reported by the United Nations on a number of occasions. The alleged crimes mostly took place in 2014, but only came to light in recent weeks.

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Troops and police officers sent to serve in peace missions should be vetted, the UN peacekeeping chief Hervé Ladsous has said.

Allegations of the sexual abuse of children by foreign soldiers serving in the Central African Republic have been reported by the United Nations on a number of occasions. The alleged crimes mostly took place in 2014, but only came to light in recent weeks.

Charges have been made against UN troops from Burundi and Gabon, French Sangari Forces as well as local armed groups in the Kemo region in the central African nation. The exact number and nature of the allegations are still being determined.

The decision urging countries to vet their troops came after a meeting with the UN military and police leadership in Central African Republic (CAR) on to address issues of sexual exploitation by peacekeepers.

He met with personnel from the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic -MINUSCA and, through video conference, with staff from the field, where he firmly reminded military personnel commanders and police officers that they needed to be personally committed to countering sexual exploitation and abuse.

He stressed that it was the responsibility of police and troop contributing countries to provide military and police staff personnel who have been sensitized, trained and fully aware that they would face sanctions if allegations were to be confirmed.

//Cue in; "Prevention is first

Cue out…..if found guilty.”//

Ladsous, the Under-Secretary-General who heads the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, said: 'I condemn the scourge of sexual exploitation in the Central African Republic,' and reiterated proposals to establish martial courts in situ.

He also underscored that the protection of and assistance to victims of sexual exploitation and abuse in the Central African Republic remains a top priority issue. 

Ladsous has been in CAR since earlier in the week when he represented the Secretary-General at the inauguration ceremony of the newly elected president of CAR, Faustin-Archange Touadera.

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