Two French soldiers suspended over child sex claims in Burkina: ministry

30th June 2015, Comments 0 comments

Two French soldiers have been suspended over child sex allegations in the west African country of Burkina Faso, France's defence ministry said Tuesday.

After he was informed about the allegations, Defence Minister Jean-Yves le Drian had "immediately alerted the competent judicial authorities," it said, adding that a "probe has been launched by the Chief of Army Staff".

The two soldiers were suspected of "committing acts of a sexual nature" on children on Monday. The French ambassador in Burkina Faso had also informed local judicial authorities, the ministry said.

It said if the allegations were proved, the army would be "implacable" in dealing with them.

There are about 220 French soldiers stationed in Burkina Faso as part of a French anti-terrorism operation covering five regional countries spanning from Mali to Chad.

Fourteen French soldiers are under investigation after a group of children alleged troops sexually abused minors at a centre for displaced people in the capital of the Central African Republic Bangui between December 2013 and June 2014.

Some of the abuse reportedly took place after the children in the conflict-ridden country begged the peacekeepers for food.

© 2015 AFP

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