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Archive for the tag “Sexual Abuse”

UPDF Disengages from the Central African Republic (19.04.2017)

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Note to Correspondents on the investigations into allegations ‎of sexual exploitation and abuse against peacekeepers deployed in the Central African Republic (05.12.2016)

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The Office of Internal Oversight Services has concluded its investigative process on the allegations ‎of sexual exploitation and abuse against Burundian and Gabonese contingents deployed in Dekoa, Kemo prefecture, in the Central African Republic. 

These allegations referred to incidents between 2014 and 2015. OIOS has conducted joint investigations with Burundian and Gabonese national investigative officers. Investigations started in April 2016, a few days after the allegations were brought to the attention of the United Nations and lasted for more than four months. The investigators relied primarily on the testimony of possible victims and witnesses given the lack of medical, forensic or any other physical evidence. This was due to the fact that the majority of the allegations referred to incidents that took place a year or more earlier. Everyone who came forward with claims, both minors and adults, were assisted by national and international partners.

Overall, 139 possible victims were interviewed and their accounts were investigated. By means of photo array and/or other corroborating evidence a total of 41 alleged perpetrators (16 from Gabon and 25 from Burundi) were identified by 45 interviewees; eight persons were unable to identify perpetrators through photo array or other corroborating evidence but were able to describe some distinctive traits; 83 were not able to identify perpetrators or provide corroborating evidence; and three accounts were considered unreliable. A total of 25 minors asserted they had been sexually abused. A total of eight paternity claims were filed, including by six minors.

The United Nations has shared the OIOS report with both Member States, including the names of the identified alleged perpetrators and has requested for appropriate judicial actions to ensure criminal accountability.

Responsibility for further investigations lies with Burundi and Gabon. The United Nations has requested from the Burundian and Gabonese authorities that they review the OIOS findings and conduct the interviews of the alleged perpetrators who had all been rotated out from Central African Republic before the allegations surfaced. The United Nations has asked for a copy of the final national investigation reports to be transmitted urgently.

The alleged perpetrators, if allegations against them are substantiated, and, if warranted, their commanding officers, will not be accepted again for deployment in peacekeeping operations.

MINUSCA has strengthened its prevention measures and reinforced its outreach among communities and peacekeepers across the country, especially in high-risk areas to improve awareness and reporting on sexual exploitation and abuse and other forms of misconduct. The Mission is also regularly monitoring conditions and behaviour of mission’s personnel and has partnered with United Nations agencies and implementing partners in Central African Republic that provide psychosocial, medical and legal assistance to victims of sexual exploitation and abuse.

The United Nations condemns, in the strongest terms, all acts of sexual exploitation and abuse committed by peacekeepers or any other UN personnel and will maintain follow up so that perpetrators of these abhorrent acts are brought to justice.

The ANCWL is Disappointed that Judge Mabel Jansen Reduces Sexual Abuse in SA to being a Black Culture (09.05.2016).

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The African National Congress Women’s League (ANCWL) unapologetically and strongly believes that gender-based violence has no place in South Africa (SA) and it must be fought by all in the society for women to live happily as equal citizens in the country. The crime statistics for 2014/15 has shown a significant decrease of recorded cases on sexual offenses to have decreased by 7.4%, from 46,647 to 43,195 respectively however the ANCWL does not celebrate such a decrease as the numbers still remain high.

The ANCWL is disappointed by the likes of Judge Jansen who is supposed to uphold the rule of law in an objective and unbiased manner, defining rape as a black culture. Her comments made on Facebook where she claims that the rape of young children is part of black culture, are purely racist and misrepresentation of facts about black culture. The comments are not in anyway assisting in fighting the scourge of sexual abuse in the country.

The ANCWL respects Judge Jansen’s right to participate in public debate but ANCWL has a view that her utterances on rape as being a black culture undermines the standing and integrity of the judiciary. It is the ANCWL’ s view that she violated Article 7 (a) of the Code of Judicial Conduct for South African Judges adopted in terms of section 12 of the Judicial Service Commission Act, 1994 (Act No 9 OF 1994) which requires her that at all times personally avoid and dissociate herself from comments that are racist, sexist or otherwise manifest discrimination in violation of the equality guaranteed by the Constitution.

The ANCWL has lost trust that Judge Jansen will preside over cases of rape fairly in future and therefore calls on Judicial Services Commission to decisively deal with her and relevant bodies to investigate if these utterances do not justify her being de- registered from the legal fraternity.

Whilst the ANCWL calls for gender transformation of the judiciary, the women’s league does not support views coming from any person irrespective of gender or race that reduces the violent sexual abuse of women in our country as black culture. Sexual abuse knows knows no race or social status it affects us all.

ANCWL urges all members of the society to work together in dealing with violence on women and children. All our efforts are required in redressing violence faced by women and children in SA

Issued by: ANC Women’s League

Secretary General

Cde Meokgo Matuba

Enquiries:

Toko Xasa

ANCWL, National Spokesperson

+27 (82) 6523131

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