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US Presses UN Council to Confront Sex Abuse by Peacekeepers

FILE - photo taken on February 11, 2016 shows three children living in the camp for Internally displaced people (IDP) of Mpoko, and claiming to be victims or witnesses of sex abuses on minors by peacekeeper soldiers of the French Sangaris operation, posing in Bangui.

The United States is pressing the U.N. Security Council for the first time to confront the escalating problem of sexual abuse and exploitation by U.N. peacekeepers, which has undermined the credibility of the United Nations.

The United States is the biggest financial contributor to the U.N.'s far-flung peacekeeping operations, and U.S. officials say the Obama administration wants the council to send a strong signal that it will not tolerate sexual crimes by troops and police sent to protect vulnerable civilians, especially children.

A resolution drafted by the U.S. is a response to a report by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon released Friday that details the 69 allegations in 2015 and for the first time identifies the countries of alleged perpetrators.

Of the allegations last year, 23 involved sexual activity with minors.