Since the outbreak of violence in the Central African Republic in 2013, around 6,000 people have been killed and thousands others displaced.
But it’s not just the two armed rival groups, Muslim Séléka rebels and Christian Antibalaka militia, who pose a threat to the civilians’ safety.
Around 98 girls in CAR told the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund that they were sexually abused by members of the U.N. peacekeeping forces, an atrocity AIDS-free World, U.S.-based advocacy group, revealed in a damning report by its Code Blue campaign.
Of them, three girls claimed they and a fourth girl were undressed and tied up inside a camp by a military commander belonging to France’s military intervention force (Sangaris) and forced to have sex with a dog for 5,000 Central African Francs, equal to around $9.
The intergovernmental body has been under increased scrutiny over the past few months over allegations of child rape and other sexual and physical abuses committed by its peacekeepers, especially those based in Central African Republic as well as neighboring Congo.
However, reports such as the one released by AIDS-free World routinely emerge and subside in the press as the U.N. fails to do anything substantial to hold the alleged perpetrators accountable.
The faulty system of the organization is mainly to blame here. As previously discussed, under the current U.N. rules, if a soldier is found guilty of committing a crime, they are sent back home for further investigation. Since no troop-contributing country wants a tarnished reputation, cases of misconduct are usually buried and forgotten.
Therefore, mere investigations into the allegations will not suffice. The U.N. immediately needs to make changes in its structure that currently lets suspects easily get away with their crimes.
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Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters/Aziz Taher