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New Allegations Emerge of Sex Abuse by Peacekeepers in CAR

FILE - A United Nations peacekeeper watches over crowds that have assembled to greet Pope Francis in Bangui, Central African Republic on, November 29, 2015 (VOA/C. Stein).

The United Nations says it is investigating 'extremely troubling' new allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers in the Central African Republic.

The events reported to the U.N. by a U.S.-based advocacy group, AIDS-Free World's Code Blue Campaign, are said to have taken place between 2013 and 2015 in the Kemo prefecture of C.A.R. and involve U.N. and non-U.N. personnel as well as local armed groups.

A U.N. investigative team says the peacekeeping contingents involved were from Burundi and Gabon. Those units have been confined to their camps while the investigation is ongoing. Allegations were also made against the French Sangaris forces in the same area.

The Code Blue Campaign says the abuse involved at least 98 girls, and includes allegations of bestiality.