S. Africa pledges cooperation in probing peacekeepers’ sexual exploitation | Pakistan Today

S. Africa pledges cooperation in probing peacekeepers’ sexual exploitation

 The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) on Thursday pledged full cooperation in an investigation into alleged sexual exploitation involving its peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
The SANDF “wishes to reiterate its stance against any abuse of civilian members or population where it is deployed in support of the peace keeping efforts of the United Nations,” SANDF Brigadier General Mafi Mgobozi said.

Mgobozi was responding to reports that five peacekeepers from South Africa face allegations of sexually exploiting women in the DRC.

According to Mgobozi, the SANDF has swiftly sent its legal officers and investigators to the mission area.

The investigating team that is currently in the DRC is also mandated to probe any such incidences that have surfaced beyond 2016, he said.

“Once again it must be noted that these investigations are being conducted in close liaison with the United Nations office in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” Mgobozi said.

If there is any evidence pointing to South African peacekeepers, they will be dealt with immediately as has happened before where such allegations were found to be true, he said.

South Africa deploys around 1,300 soldiers as part of a UN intervention brigade deployed in the strife-torn eastern DRC region.

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