Sudan: UN peacekeepers from Nepal are facing allegations of child rape in South Sudan, with a UN spokesman describing the case as “especially heinous”.
At the request of the UN, Nepal agreed to send a team of investigators to work with the UN office of internal oversight on the case.
“Any act of sexual abuse is horrendous,” Stéphane Dujarric, the spokesman for the UN secretary general, António Guterres, said. “One involving a child is especially heinous.”
The allegations were received on 13 April and involve Nepalese troops serving in the UN mission in South Sudan who allegedly raped two teenage girls, UN officials said. It remains unclear how many Nepalese soldiers are involved.
The UN has deployed 14,800 troops and police in South Sudan, with a mandate to protect civilians caught up in a brutal war between the forces of the president, Salva Kiir, and rebels.
In February, 46 UN peacekeepers from Ghana were recalled from their base in north-western South Sudan after the mission received allegations of sexual exploitation of women.
Guterres, has vowed to toughen the UN response to allegations of misconduct against the blue helmets, whose mission is to protect vulnerable civilians in conflict zones.