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Sunday, June 7, 2015

U.S. CALLING FOR INVESTIGATION INTO REPORTS OF INTERNATIONAL SOLDIERS ABUSING CHILDREN IN CAR

FROM:  U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT
Samantha Power
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations
New York, NY
June 5, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Since horrific allegations came to light that international soldiers may have abused children in the Central African Republic, the United States has been calling for a full and impartial investigation into these disturbing reports as well as into the manner in which they were handled. We thus welcome the Secretary General’s recent announcement of the establishment of an External Independent Review to examine the UN system’s response to the allegations.

The Secretary General’s establishment of this review is an opportunity for the UN to learn how it and member states can best safeguard the dignity and welfare of vulnerable people; ensure swift action to make certain potential abuses are investigated and halted; protect those who expose abuses; and provide appropriate privacy and other protection for witnesses who come forward with allegations of abuse. There are many questions that need to be answered, and we view this as an important opportunity for member states – and the people of the Central African Republic – to learn what went wrong at every point in this process.

Alongside this independent review, it is essential that all countries whose soldiers are alleged to have been involved in such abuses fully, urgently, and transparently investigate all claims to ensure that justice is served. Any individual found to have committed such heinous abuses must be held accountable.

The United States looks forward to reviewing the outcome of the Panel’s findings in a timely manner and working with all parties to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse.