Four new allegations of sexual abuse involving minors have been made against UN peacekeepers from the Democratic Republic of the Congo serving in the Central African Republic, a UN spokesman said Tuesday.
The allegations come less than two weeks after Human Rights Watch recorded eight other possible abuse cases in the CAR, where the UN mission has been accused of at least 22 incidents of sexual abuse and exploitation in 2015 alone.
Because of the way the UN records allegations, the 22 incidents don't necessarily denote 22 individual abuses but might involve a higher number of cases.
The new allegations were made by four girls living in the Ngakobo camp for internally displaced persons who have been allegedly sexually abused between 2014 and 2015, said Farhan Haq, deputy spokesperson for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
"The [UN peacekeeping] mission is cooperating closely with UN agencies and their partners to ensure that the victims have access to appropriate medical and psycho-social assistance," Haq said.
One of the cases is an allegation of rape, while the three other cases involve sexual relationships in exchange for money and food, which is prohibited under UN guidelines, a UN official said.
The DRC, which contributed the troops, was informed of the allegations Monday and was given 10 days to confirm that it would begin investigations into the allegations. If it fails to do so, the UN will begin its own investigation.
The UN doesn't routinely identify the countries whose troops had been accused of sexual exploitation, but beginning this year in its annual report on peacekeeping it will name the countries.