In the latest allegation of child sexual abuse by peacekeepers in the Central African Republic, a United Nations police officer is accused of raping a 12-year-old girl in the capital, Bangui, during a nighttime house-to-house search, according to Amnesty International.
The allegation came to light on Tuesday, when Amnesty International issued a public statement. The United Nations spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, confirmed it later in the day, adding that Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was “personally dismayed” by the charges.
The United Nations mission staff in Bangui was informed of the allegations last week, when Amnesty researchers interviewed the child and her family and met with officials at the mission.
The episode is said to have occurred Aug. 2 during a clash between armed men and peacekeepers who were searching for a criminal suspect. The mission is investigating the operation, in which one peacekeeper was killed and nine others injured, said Hamadoun Touré, a spokesman for the United Nations in Bangui. As for the rape allegation, Mr. Touré said no suspect had been identified and, therefore, no one had been arrested or suspended.