The United Nations has taken swift action in response to credible evidence of sexual exploitation and abuse involving 11 Tanzanian peacekeepers deployed in the Central African Republic. The unit, consisting of 60 individuals, has been relocated to another base while investigations are ongoing. To ensure the safety of victims and the integrity of the investigation, the peacekeepers have been confined to the barracks. Once the investigation concludes and their presence is no longer required, the unit will be repatriated, as confirmed by U.N. spokesperson Stephane Dujarric.

In light of these disturbing allegations, the well-being of the victims is a top priority. The mission’s humanitarian partners are providing them with the necessary care and support. Additionally, Tanzanian authorities have been notified and are deploying their own investigators to the Central African Republic. Recognizing the severity of the allegations, Tanzanian authorities have reaffirmed their commitment to zero tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse. They have pledged to take appropriate action to address these matters, as stated by Dujarric.

VOA has reached out to Tanzania’s U.N. ambassador for further comments regarding this incident. Tanzania, with approximately 1,586 uniformed personnel in the Central African Republic, plays a significant role as part of the more than 17,000-strong MINUSCA mission, responsible for peacekeeping efforts in the region.

When credible evidence emerges of widespread or systemic sexual exploitation or abuse within a military or police unit, the U.N. has the authority to repatriate the implicated peacekeepers. In this case, the Tanzanian peacekeepers were deployed at a temporary operating base in the western part of the Central African Republic, a country grappling with a long history of political instability, violence, and human rights abuses. The U.N. authorized the deployment of the stabilization mission in 2014 following intense sectarian fighting in 2013.

MINUSCA has encountered repeated challenges related to international peacekeepers engaging in sexual exploitation and abuse, including cases involving children. The United Nations remains fully committed to implementing the secretary-general’s zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse. These recent actions underscore the organization’s determination to address such misconduct and ensure accountability.