Chad, E.Guinea troops also accused in C. Africa child sex abuse: NGO

30th April 2015, Comments 0 comments

Soldiers from Chad and Equatorial Guinea have been accused in a confidential UN report that also implicates French troops of sexually abusing children in Central African Republic, a non-governmental organization said Thursday.

The report by UN rights investigators cites testimony from two children who witnessed the sexual assault, said Paula Donovan of the AIDS-Free World organization, which has seen the report.

"One of the children interviewed said that he had seen his friend, aged 9 or 10, with 2 soldiers from Equatorial Guinea," Donovan told AFP in an e-mail response.

"The friend performed fellatio and was sodomized by one soldier while the other kept watch, and then the soldiers exchanged roles."

Another child "reported witnessing his friend being sodomized by two Chadian soldiers while a third Chadian soldier watched," she added.

The internal report was first detailed by Britain's Guardian newspaper, prompting the French defense ministry to confirm that it had opened an investigation of the allegations in July.

The children were among the tens of thousands of displaced people who found shelter at a camp near the Bangui airport during violence that engulfed the poor African country following a March 2013 coup.

The report compiles interviews with six children who were either sexually abused themselves or were witness to incidents.

The children recounted that they approached the troops for food and were forced to engage in sexual acts in exchange for meals.

The document was leaked by a UN employee, Swedish national Anders Kompass, who has since been suspended with pay.

AIDS-Free World is pushing for a commission of inquiry to shed light on sexual misconduct by peacekeepers and has accused the United Nations of covering up crimes committed by troops sent in to protect civilians.

President Francois Hollande on Thursday vowed to "show no mercy" if the French troops were found guilty.

© 2015 AFP

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