The U.N. secretary-general expressed shame Saturday over allegations that U.N. peacekeepers and foreign troops sexually abused children in Central African Republic.
“We are all deeply ashamed and horrified over the damage that has been done when peacekeepers exploit and abuse vulnerable people,” Ban Ki-moon said at a summit for African leaders in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. “The appalling acts of a few undermine the dedicated work of many. The U.N. has a zero tolerance policy on sexual abuse and exploitation. We must all work together to ensure accountability and transparency.”
The U.N. human rights office said Friday that it had found six more cases of alleged sexual abuse against children by European troops in Central African Republic, including a 7-year-old girl who said she had to perform sexual acts on soldiers in exchange for water and cookies. A U.N. team recently interviewed five girls and a boy who claimed their abusers were part of French and European Union military operations in the troubled African country, the office of High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad al-Hussein said.