According to a report leaked by a (now suspended) United Nations aid worker, French peacekeeping troops in the Central African Republic have been accused of raping and sodomizing the same “starving and homeless young boys” they were supposed to have been protecting.
The abuse, which allegedly took place between December 2013 and June 2014, is a particularly egregious example of the sorts of abuse UN peacekeepers have been accused of for years. From The Guardian:
The children described how they were sexually exploited in return for food and money. One 11-year-old boy said he was abused when he went out looking for food. A nine-year-old described being sexually abused with his friend by two French soldiers at the IDP camp when they went to a checkpoint to look for something to eat.
The child described how the soldiers forced him and his friend to carry out a sex act. The report describes how distressed the child was when disclosing the abuse and how he fled the camp in terror after the assault. Some of the children were able to give good descriptions of the soldiers involved.
Anders Kompass, the aid worker who leaked the report, gave the gruesome document to the Aids Free World advocacy group, which is now seeking an internal inquiry into how the UN handles abuse cases. As the group’s co-director, Paula Donovan, explained to The Guardian, “The UN’s instinctive response to sexual violence in its ranks – ignore, deny, cover up, dissemble – must be subjected to a truly independent commission of inquiry with total access, top to bottom, and full subpoena power.”
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is expected to address the situation later tonight from Paris. [The Guardian]