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French Soldiers Accused of Sexually Abusing Refugees in the Central African Republic

French soldiers take position on their tank while they monitor displaced people leaving after a food distribution process was cancelled in Socati stadium, in Bangui

The French have known about these allegations since last year.

By Laura Smith-Park, CNN

Paris (CNN)Hungry, homeless young boys in the Central African Republic were forced by French soldiers to perform sex acts on them in return for food or money, the director of an advocacy group said Thursday, citing a confidential United Nations report on alleged abuses.

Paula Donovan, co-director of Aids Free World, told CNN the report detailed testimonies from six children interviewed last year by staff from the U.N. children’s agency UNICEF and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The children give harrowing accounts of their own experiences and abuses they had witnessed, and they recounted the experiences of friends of theirs, she said.

The allegations concern French soldiers deployed to the Central African Republic as peacekeepers.

The abuses were allegedly committed against a dozen children at a displaced persons’ camp at M’Poko International Airport in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, between December 2013 and June 2014.

The shocking allegations have prompted French President Francois Hollande to promise strong action if they are confirmed.

“If some soldiers behaved badly, I will be merciless,” he said in comments broadcast by CNN’s French affiliate BFMTV.

“If this information is confirmed, there will be exemplary sanctions.”

Donovan said one boy recounted how a soldier who he’d asked for food had asked him to perform oral sex in exchange. When the boy refused, the soldier asked him to find a woman who would, she said.

Another boy told how a soldier took him inside an army base, overriding the objections of a guard, and sexually abused him there.

The report was sent to her in recent days at Aids Free World, Donovan said, but she was not at liberty to say by whom. The advocacy group shared it with the UK’s Guardian newspaper, which reported on the allegations late Wednesday, saying the report had “confidential” stamped on every page.

The document already had been leaked to French authorities last year.

A U.N. staffer has been suspended over the leak, a statement from the spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Wednesday.

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  • ShunTheRightWhale

    It’s the popular usage of the world, specifically it refers to the illness, child molestation is not invariably part of it. If you insist on corporal punishment, I think penectomy is more efficient and then the right medicamental deactivation of the sex drive.

  • AJ

    I am not sure what you mean by pedophilia being not a crime. When I refer to pedophilia, I refer to adults ACTING on their sexual attraction towards a child. A recent case being in UK where men traveled to places to get together to remotely watch other men sodomizing babies. These men need to have their heads chopped off. No mercy for them.

  • ShunTheRightWhale

    Pedophilia in itself is no crime, but it’s often the driving force behind child molestation. Look at Charles Dodgson, better known as Lewis Caroll, he managed to sublimate his odd sexuality in to a piece of classical British children’s literature… Otherwise there are men without being especially into them, who simply abuse children sexually, because it’s forbidden and therefore audacious .

  • Rajano

    Thanks for the clarification. I admit I am not that familiar
    with the French prison system.

  • Laurent Weppe

    Solitary confinement is doing them a favor.

    For fuck’s sake: solitary confinement is Not and never was a disciplinary action to begin with: people always confuse what’s called in the french system “le Quartier Disciplinaire“, which is used as punishment against prisoners who break the prison’s rules, and “L’isolement carcéral“, which is a security measure to avoid a mutiny or lynching.

    That doesn’t mean that being in solitary confinement is a sinecure: the only people you interact with are the prison warders (hence why we say that confined prisoners “only see blue” since warders’ blue uniforms are the only thing you’ll see from outside your cell), you’re barred from partaking in many if not most activities available within the prison and what little vestigial freedom the other inmates retain is denied to you since you must never be in the same room or corridor than another prisoners, which means among other things that to ensure than no “accident” happens every single breath you take outside your cell is going to be monitored by your sentries.

  • Rajano

    Solitary confinement is doing them a favor. Even among most criminals child molestation is considered particularly heinous. Child molesters often don’t live long in prison if it is known what their crime is by other inmates.

  • AJ

    I sort of like the punishment Saudi Arabia has for pedophiles. Chop their heads (upper) off. Keep your appendages in your pants, busters!

  • ShunTheRightWhale

    Pedophilia is older than dirt. It’s a tendency a portion of men simply has. And some of them can’t keep of those, whom they rather supposed to protect. Children have a nascent sexuality, but it’s more about exploration of oneself and perhaps age peers, adults have lost nothing in this domain. Force and exploitation add to the ugliness of these crimes.

  • B.D.S

    Blah!

  • Heinz Catsup

    Sick.

  • Laurent Weppe

    Actually, we call that “20 ans à l’isolement, j’espères que tu aimes le bleu

  • cmyfe .

    French Soldier: Oh! do you call that rape here? We call it having fun.

  • AJ

    I expected leniency from you. Someone else would be butchering me over it. You are right. Culture is a better way to phrase that since obviously the blacks of Saudi Arabia are different than the blacks of the U.S. Same goes with the whites of one vs whites of another or the browns. There has to be a study about why these patterns of sexual abuse. Someone once did it about the Alaskans. Seemed the darkness prompted the depression which prompted the sexual abuse. Anyway, sexual abuse of kids scares me. It’s the monster that lurks everywhere – one has to be on the lookout all the time. But then again, I am sure that we – the believers- have an advantage over you – the non-believers since we have our God upstairs too looking out for us. Come to think of it, He is looking out for you too…you just don’t know it yet 🙂

  • HerrSkolly

    I’m part way there with you. I’m leary, however, of butting race against race (not that you aimed for as much – I don’t think you did), and am more prone to butt “culture” against “culture”. These may seem subtle differences to many; however, I believe that the difference between race and culture are so overwhelming that a culture (whatever it may be) might be given blame in a far more substial manner than a race. I too am on a tangent. 🙂

  • AJ

    What’s with this sexual abuse of children? It has skyrocketed to huge proportions in the UK and now this behavior of French soldiers. If you check out a sexual offender registry in the US, white males are molesting children and black males are raping women. And then you have Pakistani males grooming white teenagers in the UK. I would like a study to be done to find out what’s prompting all this. People would call race-related studies racist but if there are predominant racial trends, it would be interesting to know what’s prompting it. Sorry, on a tangent here.

  • mindy1

    Ewww how awful D:

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