2 French soldiers arrested over Africa sex abuse allegations

AP News
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Posted: Jul 02, 2015 6:22 AM

PARIS (AP) — Two French soldiers were arrested Thursday over allegations of child sex abuse in Burkina Faso.

It is the second case of alleged sexual abuse of minors by French soldiers in Africa to surface in recent months. French officials have said the Burkina Faso case is unrelated to the earlier one, in Central African Republic, involving different soldiers.

Paris prosecutors' spokeswoman Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre said the two soldiers were detained Thursday immediately upon their return to France from Burkina Faso. The French military has said the alleged abuse happened recently, and judicial authorities in Burkina Faso were also informed.

"For all acts of harassment, discrimination and sexual violence, it is zero tolerance," said Pierre Bayle, the Defense Ministry spokesman.

France has troops in Burkina Faso and nearby countries as part of a large force fighting extremists in the region.