UN peacekeeping chief in CAR forced to resign

UN chief in Central African Republic quits after a series of sexual and other misconduct allegations.

Lieutenant General Babacar Gaye, Military Adviser for the U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations
Babacar Gaye resigned a day after Amnesty International accused UN peacekeepers in CAR's capital of misconduct [Reuters]

The head of the UN peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic has been forced to resign over the force’s handling of a series of sexual and other misconduct allegations.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told reporters on Wednesday he had accepted the resignation of Babacar Gaye of Senegal.

I will not tolerate any action that causes people to replace trust with fear.

“Those who work for the United Nations must uphold our highest ideals. Yet the outrageous and indecent actions of a few people tarnishes the heroic work of tens of thousands of UN peacekeepers and personnel.

“Every allegation must be thoroughly investigated,” Ban said in the press conference.

It comes a day after Amnesty International accused UN peacekeepers in CAR’s capital of killing a 16-year-old boy and his father and raping a 12-year-old girl in separate incidents this month.

Al Jazeera’s Gabriel Elizondo, reporting from the UN headquarters, said that Ban is going to call a special session of the UN Security Council on Thursday or Friday.

“Ban also announced that he will hold an emergency video conference call with all of his force commanders from all 16 peacekeeping missions to discuss what’s going on and to get better informed about all of this.

“Clearly Ban Ki-Moon is taking this very seriously,” Elizondo added.

That follows allegations that UN peacekeepers had sexually abused street children in Bangui and a separate allegation of child sexual abuse against a peacekeeper in the eastern part of the country.

In a statement released by the UN on Tuesday, Ban expressed his consternation regarding a number of allegations concerning the conduct of UN peacekeepers deployed to the CAR.

The MINUSCA force was deployed in September, taking over from the AU force that had been sent to help restore order after the country exploded into violence following a coup.

The UN has 125,000 peacekeepers deployed in 16 missions worldwide.

Source: News Agencies