UN peacekeeping forces deployed in the Central African Republic raped a 12-year-old girl and killed a 16-year-old boy in two separate occasions. The appalling crimes reportedly happened on August 2 and 3 as peacekeeping forces from the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic were carrying out an operation in the capital Bangui’s PK5 Muslim enclave, the Amnesty International said in a report.
The Amnesty International is now calling for the agency to launch an investigation regarding the allegations.
UN peacekeeper raped young girl
On August 2 at about 1 a.m., the UN police force conducted a search for a criminal suspect in the PK5 enclave of Bangui, Amnesty said in its report. Part of the operation was a house search where men of the family were taken away while the women and children were brought together in one room. The operation was marked with chaos, shouting and total fear among those being searched, Amnesty said.
The girl was afraid that she hid inside a bathroom, separated from her family. This was where the UN peacekeeper found her. In an interview with Amnesty, the girl said the soldier dragged her out of the room and slapped her when she started to cry.
While chaos was still happening, the soldier took her into a far corner of the courtyard behind a truck, fondled her breasts and tore her clothes.
“He threw me to the ground and lay down on top of me,” the girl told Amnesty.
As gunfire engulfed the search area, the soldier continued to rape her. Afterwards, the suspect rejoined the larger group of peacekeeping troops.
The girl on the other hand went back to her family and immediately fainted. The family later found out what happened.
“I had her sit in a pan of hot water,” the girl’s mother told Amnesty, saying that this is how they treat sexual abuse. A nurse who examined her had testified that the girl was indeed sexually abused.
Peacekeepers killed 16-year-old boy and his father
On Aug. 2, the UN peacekeeping forces returned to the PK5 to continue its operation. However, men of the town have built barricades to stop them. The men had no guns, witnesses told Amnesty. However, the UN peacekeepers divided into two single-file lines, walked down both sides of street and shot at the barricade.
Victim Balla Hadji, a 61-year-old truck driver, was having breakfast with his wife when the troops arrived. Their daughter however was outside. Hadji’s immediate reaction was to get his daughter.
“Just at that moment. the troops arrived at the corner of our street. They shot Hadji in the back as he was turning around to try to get back inside his compound,” witnesses told Amnesty.
Hadji’s 16-year-old son ran to his father but was also shot, the witnesses said. When the daughter tried to run to his father and brother, the peacekeepers fired another shot to stop her. The father and son died on the spot.
UN Secretary General dismayed over Amnesty’s allegation
“Our evidence strongly suggests that a UN peacekeeper raped a young girl and that UN peacekeeping forces indiscriminately killed two civilians,” said Joanne Mariner, Senior Crisis Response Adviser at Amnesty International.
On August 11, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is “personally dismayed and disappointed” over the allegations.
“We would like to emphasize once more that no misconduct of this nature can be tolerated and that every allegation will be taken extremely seriously and investigated vigorously and thoroughly,” spokesman for Ki-moon said in a statement.
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