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Tanzanian UN troops face paternity claims after alleged sex abuse

By AFP

Added 6th April 2016 06:46 AM

Six of the 11 alleged victims are underage girls

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Six of the 11 alleged victims are underage girls

UNITED NATIONS - Eleven girls and women from the Democratic Republic of Congo claim they became pregnant as a result of sexual abuse by Tanzanian troops serving in the UN peace mission there, the UN said Tuesday.

"Seven of the alleged victims have already given birth and four women are still pregnant," said UN spokesman Farhan Haq.

Six of the 11 alleged victims are underage girls, he added.

Tanzanian diplomats at the United Nations told UN peacekeeping officials that they will send a team to the DR Congo investigate the allegations against their troops in the MONUSCO mission.

Under UN rules, the responsibility for investigating and prosecuting peacekeeper sexual abuse lies with the countries that contribute the troops and police to the peace missions.

The Tanzanian troops are part of the UN mission's elite intervention brigade deployed at Mavivi, a village near Beni in the eastern province of North Kivu.

A UN team was sent to the area two weeks ago on a fact-finding mission.

The United Nations has been rocked by a wave of allegations that its peacekeepers sexually abused civilians in the Central African Republic and in DRCongo.

Investigations are ongoing in the Central African Republic where more than 108 victims have come forward with appalling new accounts of sexual abuse in the south-central region of Kemo.

On a recent trip to the Central African Republic, UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous said countries contributing troops to peace missions would have to provide DNA samples of their soldiers to facilitate investigations of sex abuse and potential paternity tests.

After being severely criticized over its response to the sex abuse crisis, the United Nations has pledged to offer help for the victims through a trust fund and legal assistance for victims seeking to establish paternity.

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