C.A.R. – UN PEACEKEEPERS

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PressTV-UN probes peacekeepers crimes in CAR

Wed Aug 12, 2015 2:3AM

Rwandan policemen from the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) patrol the market streets at the Boy Rabe neighborhood in Bangui, the Central African Republic, on May 22, 2015. (AFP)

Rwandan policemen from the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) patrol the market streets at the Boy Rabe neighborhood in Bangui, the Central African Republic, on May 22, 2015. (AFP)

The UN mission in the Central African Republic (CAR) has opened a probe into allegations claiming that its peacekeepers committed rape and murder in the crisis-hit nation.

The investigation was opened on Tuesday after Amnesty International accused some UN peacekeepers of raping a 12-year-old girl and the “indiscriminate” killings of a 16-year-old boy and his father, on August 2 and 3, respectively, when peacekeepers were carrying out an operation in the capital Bangui, AFP reported.

“Our evidence strongly suggests that a UN peacekeeper raped a young girl and that other UN peacekeepers indiscriminately killed two civilians,” said Amnesty International’s Senior Crisis Response Adviser Joanne Mariner in a Tuesday statement calling for launching an independent civilian investigation and suspending those implicated.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon responded to the claims, saying that he was “dismayed and disappointed” by the latest allegations of sexual abuse committed by peacekeepers.

“This is clearly not only not normal, it is not acceptable. The secretary general is considering the situation very seriously,” Ban’s spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said.

The UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the CAR, known by its French acronym of MINUSCA, said it was “not aware” of the allegations but was considering the matter “very seriously”.

“We have opened a probe,” said Hamadoun Toure, the MINUSCA spokesperson, adding that the mission would search for “established and verifiable proof”.

The CAR plunged into chaos and sectarian violence in March 2013 after the Seleka and anti-Balaka groups turned their guns on each other to dominate the crisis-torn country’s politics and vast mineral resources