MINUSCA position on press report about sexual exploitation and abuse allegations in Bangassou
The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) takes seriously the allegations of sexual abuse committed by its troops, which were made by Bishop of Bangassou Monseigneur Aguire, in a Spanish newspaper.
Rumors of these allegations were brought to the attention of the United Nations for some months and were looked into through a fact-finding mission conducted with the help of local sources, including non-governmental institutions providing assistance to the displaced people present in the site of the Bishop’s compound and who are often the first to report such allegations.
In addition, the Force Provost Marshall, the Head of the Mission’s office in Bangassou and the Human rights officers based in that locality were also involved. The fact-finding mission concluded that no tangible element could support these allegations. Nonetheless, MINUSCA has also maintained contacts with local actors, in order to ensure that further information on any new or past allegations is communicated as soon as possible.
The Mission remains determined to ensure any new allegation of sexual exploitation and abuse is investigated and that perpetrators, if found to have engaged in sexual exploitation or sexual abuse through an investigation, will be duly sanctioned as per the Secretary-General’s zero Tolerance policy.
In this context, MINUSCA is working to expand its community-based reporting network for sexual exploitation and abuse, including in Bangassou. More than a hundred contact points have been formed and equipped by MINUSCA in Bangui, Bambari, Dekoa, Kaga Bandoro and Sibut to safely and confidentially report allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse that have been brought to them by victims, witnesses or other community members, directly or through the Missions toll-free hotline: 4044.