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Sexual Harassment Widespread at African Union, Inquiry Says

FILE - Delegates are seen attending the opening session of the African Union (AU) summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Jan. 30, 2014.

An internal investigation into sexual harassment claims at the African Union has found widespread reports of mistreatment of women, especially interns, youth volunteers and short-term staffers.

A statement says the continental body will create a sexual harassment policy in response.

The AU launched the investigation earlier this year after receiving complaints from more than three dozen female staffers. At the time, AU Commission chair Moussa Faki Mahamat said that ``we have zero tolerance to this kind of behavior.''

The new statement says interviews with more than 80 staffers revealed "almost unanimous confirmation of the prevalence" of sexual harassment, notably as senior staff "make believable promises to young women that they will be offered contracts."

The statement says Mahamat now will take "immediate action on urgent issues" such as acting appointments.