UN: New sexual abuse allegations in Central African Republic

Undisclosed number of peacekeepers accused of sexually abusing four underage girls in turbulent country

The United Nations on Tuesday said it was investigating new allegations that U.N. peacekeepers sexually abused four underage girls in the Central African Republic.

Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, said the probe was looking into how many peacekeepers were involved in the alleged abuse.

Officials have refrained from naming the countries to which the alleged perpetrators belong. Few other details have been released, as U.N. officials are still investigating. In the meantime, all four girls have received medical treatment.

The new charges follow a series of sexual abuse allegations that French and African troops in Central African Republic forced children to perform sexual acts in exchange for food and other aid from December 2013 to June 2014.

An independent panel last month found that a report detailing the allegations sat on U.N. desks for months until a newspaper article in April sparked outrage over the case.

The Central African Republic is struggling to recover from sectarian violence that exploded after a 2013 coup, pitting mainly Muslim rebels against Christian militias. 

Wire services 

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