The great silent will she still be able to shut up? 13 of the French army soldiers are affected by sexual abuse accusations against children in CAR. A new devastating scandal?
The army promises to punish if …
In July 2014, the French Ministry of Defence received a damning report prepared by staff of the High -commissariat the Rights of the UN Human positioned in Central Africa.
The French army was deployed as part of the Sangaris operation, intended to prevent a civil war. Ten children – the youngest is eight years old – say that in exchange for food or under threat, the French soldiers abused them sexually
These testimonies “. retrace the facts allegedly committed on ten children, at the site of M’Poko airport (Bangui), between December 2013 and June 2014 “, said on Wednesday the Ministry of Defence ensuring you “take all necessary measures to enable the establishment of the truth” .
Preliminary inquiry underway
Realizing the gravity of the charges and their reach, the ministry said “if the facts were proven, it will ensure that the strongest possible sanctions are imposed against officials which would be an intolerable infringement of the soldier values” .
“If some soldiers behaved badly, I’ll be relentless” warned Hollande visiting Brest.
The Department add entering once he was alerted by the UN report, the Paris Public Prosecutor has opened a preliminary investigation still ongoing. Members of the provost gendarmerie, composed of military with judicial powers and placed under control of the public prosecutor of Paris, went up in August 2014 in Central there to begin their investigation.
According to British newspaper The Guardian, which revealed information, the UN document was sent to the French authorities by a Swedish member of OHCHR, Anders Kompass, shocked by the inertia of its hierarchy.
The director of field operations of the High Commissioner has been suspended from office last week and is the subject of an internal investigation which could lead to his dismissal.
To identification of the perpetrators?
The document gathers the testimonies of six children aged 8 to 15 years, considered very credible, and involves a dozen French soldiers who exchanged food and sometimes small sums money, against sexual favors. According to the Le Monde , 13 soldiers, all French, are concerned by this case.
“The children testified that they were hungry and they thought they could get food from the soldiers’ , said the co-director of the American NGO Aids -Free World, Paula Donovan. The soldiers answer was “If you do that, then I will give you to eat. Different children have different vocabulary used “ in their testimony.
Some say they have been raped, abused and other others claim to have witnessed the rape of their comrades. Some have been able to give of their alleged attackers accurate description, which should help to identify them.
According to the World Information “working document” UN who leaked evokes “fellatio” for the forced French military, but also other sexual assaults involving foreign soldiers.
Asked Thursday morning, the Secretary of State in charge of Family, Laurence Rossignol, said that it was, if true, “extremely serious facts” .
“We know very well that in the war operations in countries or disorder, it is women and children who are victims of predators” , has she said . “It means that those who are there to protect themselves would be predators. From one point of view it is a double crime “.
For his part, Monsignor Nzapaïlanga, archbishop of Bangui, told the newspaper Le Parisien “From what I hear, it would be one or two soldiers being directly involved but it is too early to say. Every institution has its bad apples. We should not cast aspersions on the French army as a whole, which is a large army “.
The abuses Sex in the army
One hundred cases of sexual violence within the French army were supported by Themis cell since its establishment in April 2014. 25% of the facts place in residential premises (barracks and bases). The ranks are primarily concerned accounting for 70% of victims and 60% of the authors.
In addition, an investigative book lifted the taboo of sexual violence against women in the military French. An internal investigation was opened.
The Invisible War , published in February 2014 by Editions des Arenes, denounces the omerta that prevails in the armed, which complain of assault of his comrades or superiors is seen as a betrayal of the esprit de corps of the army and as a breach of loyalty. Fear of retaliation silences women soldiers.