UN chief orders review of handling of claims of child abuse by French soldiers
Ban Ki-moon steps in to announce external review
‘There are systems that failed here,’ UN chief’s spokesman tells reporters
Sandra Laville and Ben Quinn Wednesday 3 June 2015
The UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, has made a dramatic intervention in the scandal of French peacekeepers allegedly abusing children in Africa by announcing an independent external review of how his organisation handled the affair.
The move is the first public intervention by the secretary general into what has become a growing controversy for the UN. Pressure is growing on the organisation and on the French authorities to explain when and how they reacted to revelations by children in Central African Republic last year that they were being sexually exploited by French soldiers at a camp for internally displaced people.
In April the Guardian revealed that a senior UN official, Anders Kompass, had been suspended for disclosing an internal report on the alleged abuse to French prosecutors. Documents released last week, including a statement from Kompass, stated his position that he had passed the report to the French because he was concerned the UN would do nothing to stop the abuse. He has been reinstated but is still under internal investigation and could be dismissed....