The head of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic, Babacar Gaye of Senegal, has resigned at the request of U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon over the force's handling of a series of sexual and other misconduct allegations.
Ban told reporters Wednesday he has accepted Gaye's resignation and has called a special session of the Security Council for Thursday to discuss sexual abuse allegations, which have rocked the U.N.
"I cannot put into words how anguished and angered and ashamed I am by recurrent reports over the years of reports of sex abuse and exploitation by U.N. forces," Ban said.
He said he will hold a special meeting Thursday with the heads of all peacekeeping missions around the world to stress their responsibilities to "report allegations immediately, investigate through and act decisively."
The rare resignation of a peacekeeping mission chief comes a day after Amnesty International accused U.N. peacekeepers in the Central African Republic's capital, Bangui, of indiscriminately killing a 16-year-old boy and his father and raping a 12-year-old girl in separate incidents this month.
That follows allegations that U.N. peacekeepers sexually abused street children in Bangui and an allegation of child sexual abuse against a peacekeeper in the eastern part of the country.
The U.N. mission is also being investigated over how it handled child sexual abuse allegations against French troops last year.
The Associated Press