United Nations (UN) authorities have suspended and threatened employment termination of Anders Kompass, a senior UN aid worker, for leaking reports detailing sexual abuse by French troops during relief and peacekeeping operations in the Central African Republic (CAR) last year.

The CAR has experienced intermittent civil war since 2004, with the latest conflict being sparked by a coup by Seleka rebels in 2012 removing President Francois Bozize from power. The Seleka group leader, Michel Djotodia, declared himself president and promptly suspended the CAR constitution and dissolved the National Assembly. The Seleka coup and Djotodia presidency sparked religious conflict and an anti-Balaka coalition of mostly Christians formed to fight the Seleka which is predominantly Muslim.

The civil war in CAR prompted an international peacekeeping response lead by the French government and UN. The sexual abuse took place in 2014 when the UN was forming the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) in 2014, according to the Guardian newspaper.

According to reports, French troops working with MINUSCA raped and sodomized a series of homeless boys around nine years old. These abuses were reported the UN authorities who, according to Anders Kompass, did not investigate the matters seriously. The UN’s inadequate investigation and response to these rapes caused Mr. Kompass to leak the reports to French authorities and human rights groups.

The Guardian reported that one child “described [to UN authorities] how they were sexually exploited in return for food and money. One 11-year-old boy said he was abused when he went out looking for food. A nine-year-old described being sexually abused with his friend by two French soldiers at the IDP camp when they went to a checkpoint to look for something to eat.”

The UN Office for Internal Oversight has suspended Kompass for leaking the documents and have threatened termination, siting that he breached UN protocols on confidential documents. 

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