European, U.N. troops accused of sexual abuse in Central African Republic

Updated: 00:00 GMT, Jan 1, 1970 | Published: 05:34 GMT, Jan 30, 2016 |

Twelve more children in the Central African Republic have accused European soldiers and United Nations peacekeepers of sexual abuse, the United Nations said on Friday (January 29), with one senior official saying such abuse was “rampant” there.

Foreign troops were deployed in Central African Republic after mainly Muslim rebels seized power in the majority Christian country in 2013, provoking reprisals and fueling religious and inter-communal violence that has killed thousands.

French troops have been in the country since December 2013. European Union troops were there from April 2014 to March 2015. A United Nations peacekeeping mission assumed authority from African Union troops in September 2014.

U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for Field Support, Anthony Banbury, appeared emotional while announcing the new U.N. cases.

“It’s hard to imagine the outrage that people working for the United Nations and for the causes of peace and security feel when these kinds of allegations come to light, particularly involving minors, which is so hard to understand,” Banbury said.