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U.N.-funded peacekeepers in CAR are accused of murders and rape

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BANGUI, Central African Republic — It was just after sunset when 9-year-old Aabirah went to get water from a well near her home. Her neighborhood in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, was secured from local armed groups by Burundian peacekeepers and there was a reliable pump near the base where residents often went for fresh water. As she finished drawing water, a Burundian captain she recognized called her over.

The next morning, her father told local health workers that Aabirah was weeping when she returned to the house. The captain had raped her and her skirt was covered in blood.

Burundi’s government and military are under investigation by the International Criminal Court for alleged crimes against humanity stemming from a 2015 political crisis within the country’s own borders. Yet despite facing accusations of unlawful killings, rapes, and other grave human rights violations, Burundian troops are deployed across CAR as part of the U.N. peacekeeping mission (also known as MINUSCA) that is expected to protect civilians.

Instead, these soldiers have continued their abuses in CAR. Since 2015, the U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations has documented 10 allegations against Burundian peacekeepers working in CAR, including seven cases of sexual exploitation and rape. Local activists say the actual number of incidents is considerably higher.

Allegations of abuse and sexual exploitation are in no way limited to Burundian peacekeepers; abuse scandals have plagued the 14,000-strong international peacekeeping mission in CAR since the start of operations in 2014. But the Burundian troops’ controversial inclusion in the mission raises questions about how invested the Western countries funding the mission are in bringing CAR’s crisis to an end.

BANGUI, Central African Republic — It was just after sunset when 9-year-old Aabirah went to get water from a well near her home. Her neighborhood in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, was secured from local armed groups by Burundian peacekeepers and there was a reliable pump near the base where residents often went for fresh water. As she finished drawing water, a Burundian captain she recognized called her over.

The next morning, her father told local health workers that Aabirah was weeping when she returned to the house. The captain had raped her and her skirt was covered in blood.

Burundi’s government and military are under investigation by the International Criminal Court for alleged crimes against humanity stemming from a 2015

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https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/wj7nb4/un-funded-peacekeepers-in-car-are-accused-of-murders-and-rape

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