The UN on Friday (June 09) announced a unit of 60 peacekeepers from Tanzania was to be repatriated from the Central African Republic following serious allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse.
The alleged crimes were not dated. Speaking from New York, the spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General said a preliminary investigation identified 4 victims.
“The identified victims are being provided with care and support by the Mission’s humanitarian partners. The Mission has also deployed a team to further engage with the community,” Stéphane Dujarric said.
“The Tanzanian authorities have been formally notified and have deployed national investigation officers to the Central African Republic […]”
Credible evidence was found against 11 members of the unit formerly based in the western part of the Central African Republic.
“The unit has been relocated to another base while the investigation continues, and members of the unit are confined to barracks, this is in order to protect victims as well of course as the integrity of the investigation”, Dujarric revealed.
“The unit will be repatriated once their presence is no longer required in theatre by the investigators….”
Dujarric explained that the “by the Secretariat to repatriate this unit” was in accordance with resolution 2272 of the Security Council “where the Council ‘endorses the decision of the Secretary-General to repatriate a particular military unit or formed police unit of a contingent when there is credible evidence of widespread or systematic sexual exploitation and abuse by that unit’.”
The United Nations recorded on its website that since 2015, 254 accusations of sexual exploitation and abuse targeting members of its Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic or MINUSCA.
The UN chief António Guterres announced early in his tenure A policy of ‘zero tolerance’ towards sexual abuse by UN personnel, calling on Member States to sign a voluntary compact on preventing and addressing the scourge, in 2017.
Accusations of exploitation and sexual abuse by UN peacekeepers around the world are widespread.