Members of the United Nations Peacekeeping troops stationed in the Central African Republic are accused of raping two girls and paying for sex with two others, it was announced today. Other reports from back in October allege that peacekeeping forces from France paid children as young as seven to engage in oral sex.
The United Nations human rights chief, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, called for further investigation of reports that members of a European Union peacekeeping contingent had raped two girls and had paid two others for sex. The girls were 14 to 16 at the time.
The acts took place in 2014 and 2015 and involved troops from Georgia and another European country, the girls told investigators. The other country has not been publicly identified.
In addition, United Nations human rights officials reported that a 7-year-old boy and a 9-year-old girl said they had been paid by French peacekeepers for oral sex and that they knew of other children who had been repeatedly abused by French troops.
This is horrible and disturbing on multiple levels. Nobody, but especially not peacekeeping troops, should ever be victimizing children. This is hardly the first scandal to emerge from this program, and it's sad to say that this probably won't be the last. There needs to be increased oversight to make sure that this never happens again.