Thursday, April 30, 2015

Rape in Central Africa: the UN investigator questioned by the Justice … – The Obs

In the hands of French justice since last July, the case of child rape charges by soldiers in CAR already includes several investigation but the chronology shows that all elements were not easy to obtain.

First Act last summer, when the Minister of Defense French prosecutor of Paris transmits to the denunciations made against soldiers from the Sangaris operation. According to the “Guardian”, this secret document was sent to France by Andres Kompass, Swedish humanitarian framework in response to inaction of the UN. The alleged facts involve rape on minors under 15 particularly vulnerable. Of blowjobs were imposed in exchange for money or food. At least 14 French soldiers were suspicious of these facts. Their identities are not all known at this stage but recognition elements are releases: their nicknames or physical descriptions

Difficult or impossible hearings

Upon receipt of the termination of. Ministry of Defence, as is the rule under Article 40 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, a preliminary investigation is launched. The research section of the gendarmerie of Paris is entered, and the provost gendarmerie. The latter is responsible for the investigation concerning the military.

Investigators went to the site in early August 2014. They can not hear them Central African children who were allegedly abused between one year and six months ago (The facts date back to a period ranging from December 2013 to June 2014). It is not known if they then hear soldiers Sangaris operation.

At the same time, the command investigation conducted by the Ministry of Defence is also reflected in the sending of men instead. Came especially from Paris, the officers conduct their investigations under the sole military authorities. This is the rule in such cases: A command investigation is triggered “when a serious malfunction related to the service is made known to the command” we-they explain. Such investigations are systematically launched for events involving “wrongdoings” that can “be a public or media exploitation” or when a criminal investigation is launched.

The Nations -Unies are also solicited. With a particularity: the Paris prosecutor’s request to hear the UN official who wrote the internal report which denounced the facts. We know that this is the document that was finally sent to France by Andres Kompass, Swedish humanitarian framework. To hear this official, the French justice requires the consent of the UN. In September 2014, it therefore calls for the lifting of his immunity. The “regime of privileges and immunities” UN plans since 1946, this mandatory procedure.

But in a clearly very strict attitude attached to the international procedure, the United Nations refuses to parquet Paris the waiver of such immunity: the collection of the evidence of the official report of the editor will therefore be a written questionnaire and not by an audition face to face

Investigators establish a list of factual questions. and received the answer a few weeks ago: the official confirms point by point the contents of the internal report, namely the rape of ten children under 15 years in exchange for food. The report also states that the incident occurred on M’Poko airport in Bangui.

Making declassification

Along with the criminal investigation and internal inspections of Nations -Unies, the French military command has commissioned its own investigation. Now one of the next steps for the French justice should be to seek the declassification of the investigation report to pour in the proceedings. This is the crossroads of three surveys that should allow to precisely identify the designated military as suspected criminals and hear them to confront the charges.

Mathieu Delahousse


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