Central African Republic Peacekeepers Accused of Rape, UN Says

United Nations peacekeepers in the Central African Republic are accused of raping three females, a spokeswoman said, a week after the country’s UN mission head was forced to quit over its response to similar allegations.

Families reported the accusations against three soldiers to the UN mission’s human-rights division on Aug. 12, Vannina Maestracci, associate spokeswoman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, said Wednesday, according to a transcript posted on the institution’s website.

The unidentified country that contributed the three troops has been informed and if it fails to respond, the UN “will rapidly conduct its own investigation,” Maestracci said.

Ban on Aug. 12 said he forced the peacekeeping chief in the Central African Republic to quit over the mission’s response to allegations of sexual violence and misconduct against its soldiers. Amnesty International had accused peacekeepers in the capital, Bangui, of raping a 12-year-old girl and killing a 16-year-old boy and his father, citing interviews with 15 witnesses.

The Central African Republic plunged into crisis after mainly Muslim militias overthrew Christian President Francois Bozize in March 2013, sparking reprisal attacks by Christian fighters. Thousands of people have died in the violence.

The UN mission in the country has almost 8,000 military personnel, contributed by more than 30 nations, according to its website.

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