Human Rights Watch: “peacekeepers should be protectors, not predators”

By AT editor - 7 February 2016 at 11:36 pm
Human Rights Watch: “peacekeepers should be protectors, not predators”

AP Photo, File

“In a country where armed groups routinely prey on civilians, peacekeepers should be protectors, not predators,” Hillary Margolis said, women’s rights researcher at Human Rights Watch (HRW).

According to a HRW press release eight women and girls were raped or sexually exploited in the Central African Republic (CAR) by United Nations peacekeepers between October and December 2015.

Reportedly, an 18-year-old woman and a 14-year-old girl came forward and stated that were among the survivors. They told HRW that they have been gang-raped by peacekeepers near Bambari airport.

The eight that came forward told HRW that they believed those peacekeepers responsible for the crimes were from the Democratic Republic of the Congo or the Republic of Congo.

Margolis called on the United Nations not just to send those responsible home but to require those countries to bring the peacekeepers to justice. “Sending peacekeepers back home is not enough. The UN needs to insist that troops’ home countries bring rapist and other abusers to justice, and that survivors get the support they need.”

The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA)  has deployed nearly 11,000 peacekeeping personnel in the country that has been marred by conflict since March 2013 when Francois Bozize, the former president, was ousted by a mainly Islamic rebel alliance, the Seleka.

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