DAKAR, September 15 (Hfrance.fr) - The United Nations have sent home the 450 Gabonese soldiers from their peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic and have opened an investigation after allegations sexual abuse of five girls, he said on Wednesday.
The mission, known as MINUSCA, said the allegations concerned unidentified Gabonese peacekeepers operating in the center of the country.
Gabon's defense ministry said it has also opened an investigation.
"If the allegations turn out to be true, the instigators will be brought to court and tried with extreme rigor, " the ministry said.
The Central African Republic, rich in diamonds, wood and gold, has struggled to find stability since a 2013 rebellion toppled former President François Bozize.
Violence has erupted since a December election saw President Faustin-Archange Touadera win another term, a result contested by a coalition militias.
Allegations of sexual abuse have harassed the United Nations mission over the years. Former MINUSCA chief Babacar Gaye resigned in 2015 amid allegations of sexual abuse against peacekeepers, new cases of which emerged in 2016. The Central African Republic is not alone. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, dozens of similar allegations were made in 2017. Reporting by Michelle Nichols and Edward McAllister Additional reporting by Gerauds Wilfried Obangome; Edited by Angus MacSwan
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