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A Moroccan peacekeeper serving with the U.N. Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) escorts a U.N. delegation in Bambari, Central Africa Republic (U.N. photo by Catianne Tijerina).

CAR Scandal Reflects U.N. Peacekeeping’s Loss of Strategic Direction

Monday, June 8, 2015

Do peacekeepers do more harm than good? An appalling abuse scandal has come to overshadow the two parallel peace operations, led by France and the United Nations, currently based in the Central African Republic (CAR). There is credible evidence that French troops made local children commit sex acts as entertainment. The U.N. appears to have, at the very best, mishandled its investigation of these crimes.

To make matters worse, the U.N. announced last week that it is investigating further claims of abuse by its one of its own personnel in CAR. There are also claims that African peacekeepers were responsible for “enforced disappearance, torture and extrajudicial killings” there in early 2014. These revelations will sadly fail to shock anyone who has followed events in CAR in recent years. The country effectively collapsed when rebels overthrew the government in early 2013, sparking a spiral of sectarian slaughter that appeared to be escalating to all-out genocide late that year. ...

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