French prosecutors have yesterday opened a preliminary investigation into new allegations of sexual abuse against French and UN peacekeeping soldiers based in the Central African Republic (CAR).
According to them, the alleged acts took place in the eastern town of Dekoa between 2013 and 2015.
Last week, the United Nations had announced an urgent investigation into allegations of rape and assault, saying that reports dated back to three years.
The investigation by the prosecutors was opened on Friday; a day after the UN said that more than 100 victims had come forward with horrifying new accounts of sexual abuse by UN peacekeepers and French troops based in the war-torn country.
According to the UN, over 100 girls in CAR have said they were sexually abused by international peacekeepers, with three claiming they were tied up and forced to have sex with a dog by a French military commander in 2014.
The UN did not give details on the ages of the alleged victims or the number of soldiers involved; however, it is gathered that most of the victims were underage girls.
Confirming the bestial allegation, AIDS-Free World, a civil society group that tracks peacekeeper sex abuse cases, said three girls told a UN rights officer that they were tied up and undressed by a French commander inside a camp and forced to have sex with a dog.
The girls were then allegedly given about eight euros in payment.
The UN Secretary-General is to consider dispatching high-level envoys to countries whose troops have been implicated and “prima facie allegations have been confirmed”, Aids-Free World reported.
Aside from French troops, the accusations concern soldiers from Burundi and Gabon who were serving in the UN peacekeeping force in Central African Republic (MINUSCA), also between 2013 and 2015.
Similarly, UNICEF has reportedly interviewed 98 girls who claim to have been sexually abused by international peacekeepers in just one province of CAR.