Wednesday, April 29, 2015
France investigates claims of Central African Republic child abuse by soldiers - UN aid worker suspended for leaking report, Child abuse inquiry judge to investigate Lord Janner allegations
France investigates claims of CAR child abuse by soldiers 4/29/15
A Parisian prosecutor says an investigation is under way into claims French soldiers in the Central African Republic sexually abused children.
France sent an initial 1,600 troops to the country in December 2013 after violence flared following a coup.
On Wednesday, the Guardian newspaper reported that a United Nations worker was suspended after leaking a report on abuses by French troops.
It says a UN report claimed children as young as nine were abused.
Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre, a spokeswoman for the Paris prosecutor's office, said an investigation had been under way since July 2014.
The Guardian said that the alleged abuse took place between December 2013 and June 2014 at a centre for internally displaced people in the Central African Republic capital, Bangui.
Quoting an internal UN report, it says that in one case, a nine-year-old boy and his friend were forced to carry out a sex act by two French soldiers....
UN aid worker suspended for leaking report on child abuse by French troops
Anders Kompass said to have passed confidential document to French authorities because of UN’s failure to stop abuse of children in Central African Republic Sandra Laville Wednesday 29 April 2015
A senior United Nations aid worker has been suspended for disclosing to prosecutors an internal report on the sexual abuse of children by French peacekeeping troops in the Central African Republic.
Sources close to the case said Anders Kompass passed the document to the French authorities because of the UN’s failure to take action to stop the abuse. The report documented the sexual exploitation of children as young as nine by French troops stationed in the country as part of international peacekeeping efforts.
Kompass, who is based in Geneva, was suspended from his post as director of field operations last week and accused of leaking a confidential UN report and breaching protocols. He is under investigation by the UN office for internal oversight service (OIOS) amid warnings from a senior official that access to his case must be “severely restricted”. He faces dismissal....
Entitled Sexual Abuse on Children by International Armed Forces and stamped “confidential” on every page, the report details the rape and sodomy of starving and homeless young boys by French peacekeeping troops who were supposed to be protecting them at a centre for internally displaced people in Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic.
Donovan said: “The regular sex abuse by peacekeeping personnel uncovered here and the United Nations’ appalling disregard for victims are stomach-turning, but the awful truth is that this isn’t uncommon. The UN’s instinctive response to sexual violence in its ranks – ignore, deny, cover up, dissemble – must be subjected to a truly independent commission of inquiry with total access, top to bottom, and full subpoena power.”
The UN has faced several scandals in the past relating to its failure to act over paedophile rings operating in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kosovo and Bosnia. It has also faced allegations of sexual misconduct by its troops in Haiti, Burundi and Liberia....
The children described how they were sexually exploited in return for food and money. One 11-year-old boy said he was abused when he went out looking for food. A nine-year-old described being sexually abused with his friend by two French soldiers at the IDP camp when they went to a checkpoint to look for something to eat.
The child described how the soldiers forced him and his friend to carry out a sex act. The report describes how distressed the child was when disclosing the abuse and how he fled the camp in terror after the assault. Some of the children were able to give good descriptions of the soldiers involved.
In summer 2014, the report was passed to officials within the office of the high commissioner for human rights in Geneva. When nothing happened, Kompass sent the report to the French authorities and they visited Bangui and began an investigation....
Child abuse inquiry judge to investigate Lord Janner allegations
Lowell Goddard has asked director of public prosecutions to hand over files, will talk to Labour peer’s alleged victims and could call on him to give evidence
Josh Halliday Wednesday 29 April 2015
A high court judge is to investigate whether child sexual abuse allegations against Lord Janner were the subject of an establishment cover-up.
Justice Lowell Goddard, the chair of a major independent inquiry into child abuse ordered by the home secretary, Theresa May, will seek evidence from the Labour peer’s alleged victims and may even summon the 86-year-old to give evidence.
The New Zealand judge has also asked Britain’s top prosecutor, Alison Saunders, to hand over all the prosecution files against Janner as part of an “exhaustive and critical examination of the institutional decision-making processes” in the case. She said she would scrutinise three missed opportunities to prosecute Janner by the police or the CPS in 1991, 2002 and 2007 and “whether any inappropriate influence was brought to bear in any effort to shield Lord Janner from prosecution”.
The announcement came after Saunders, the director of public prosecutions, attracted widespread criticism earlier this month when she said there was sufficient evidence to prosecute Janner over 22 alleged sexual offences but that he would not be prosecuted because he has Alzheimer’s disease....
Janner, who has dementia, was accused of carrying out a catalogue of abuse against young boys, and more than a dozen people came forward to claim he abused them during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s....