French soldier raped Central African girl


This video says about itself:

French Troops and the Child Sexual Abuse Allegations in the Central African Republic

1 June 2015

They went to the Central African Republic to protect them but instead they allegedly ended up raping and sodomizing them. This is the story of the French troops in the Central African Republic accused of raping and sodomizing young boys, as young as nine years old in exchange for food and a few coins.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain today:

New allegation of French sex abuse

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: The UN said yesterday another case of sexual abuse by a French solider had come to light.

UN high commissioner for human rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said the alleged victim was in her teens during the abuse about a year ago.

She gave birth to a child in April and has filed a paternity claim with local authorities.

See also here.

UN investigates allegations peacekeepers abused 4 Central African Republic girls: here.

UN: PEACEKEEPERS PAYING 13-YEAR-OLDS FOR SEX “The United Nations has been grappling with so many sexual abuse allegations involving its peacekeepers that Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon recently called them ‘a cancer in our system.’ Now, officials have learned about what appears to be a fresh scandal. Investigators discovered this month that at least four U.N. peacekeepers in the Central African Republic allegedly paid young girls as little as 50 cents in exchange for sex.” [WaPo]

U.N. says more child sex abuse cases by European troops in Africa: here.

Excesses of the War on Terror: In Djibouti, host to the United States military’s largest drone base outside of Afghanistan, sexual exploitation and abuse of migrant women and girls is an open secret. OneWorld and Shahida Report reveal how the U.S. covers up sex trafficking there, and how the presence of defense contractors and foreign militaries is a driving factor in the sexual exploitation of young women and girls trying to leave behind poverty, famine and war: here.

Rare African mongoose rediscovered after twenty years


Pousargues’s mongooses © African Parks

From Africa Geographic:

Pousargues’s mongoose rediscovered after 20 years

July 20, 2015

With only 31 museum specimens and a handful of possible sightings over the last twenty years, the Pousargues’s or savanna mongoose (Dologale dybowskii) is one of the least known carnivores in the world. But now we can learn more about them.

During our field work between 2011 to 2015 in the south eastern part of Central African Republic, we have discovered a population of this forgotten dwarf mongoose in the Chinko Project Area, a conservation zone recently founded and now part of the African Parks network.

Before we started the first expedition almost nothing was known about the wildlife in the east of Central African Republic. Thanks to direct field observations as well as strategically placed camera traps installed around termite mounds, occupied by Pousargues’s mongoose, we now have a better understanding of this small carnivore and its social structures. Astonishingly, the Pousargues’s mongoose shares its jungle home with eight different species of mongoose.

Observations from the Chinko show that Pousargues’s mongoose lives in small groups ranging from three to 12 individuals which move between their favourite termite mounds on a regular basis. Breeding has been observed taking place in mid-May during the early rainy season. A small group of three adults have been observed caring for an infant, carrying it around in their mouths. A first genetic survey based on collected scat samples, shows the Pousargues’s mongoose being a close relative of the forest dwelling Kusimanse crossarchus.

Based on more than 1,500km of walked transects, over 14,500 camera traps, days spent in more than 400 different locations and countless hours of field observations, Pousargues’s Mongoose seem to occur in much lower densities than most other mongoose in the Chinko Project Area. Habitat preferences and their ecological recommendations are still largely unknown so further studies are still needed. The vegetation is relatively pristine in eastern CAR, South Sudan and northern DRC due to less human interference in these areas and as such it can be assumed that the habitat of Pousargues’s mongoose is still available in large scale.

Poaching and overgrazing pose a serious threat to animals like lions, elephants, wild dogs and possibly this little mongoose in the Central African Republic. Therefore, it is important to manage large scale reserves like the Chinko Project Area to secure a functional ecosystem and the long term survival of a diverse wildlife community including nondescript dwarfs like the Pousargues’s mongoose.

French military sexual abuse of African children


This 30 April 2015 video is called France investigates allegation of child abuse by its troops in the Central African Republic.

By Antoine Lerougetel and Kumaran Ira in France:

French soldiers sexually abused children in Central African Republic

6 May 2015

On April 29, Britain’s Guardian newspaper revealed the sexual abuse of children aged between 8 and 15 by French soldiers in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic (CAR). The deeply impoverished country has experienced escalating sectarian fighting between Christian Anti-balaka and Muslims Seleka militias. Thousands of civilians had fled Bangui neighborhoods to seek shelter in nearby M’Poko airport.

According to the Guardian, the alleged abuse took place between December 2013 and June 2014 in a refugee camp in Bangui.

Reuters cited French judicial sources saying that a number of French soldiers had been identified. Chadian peacekeepers were also allegedly involved in the sexual abuse. On Thursday, Le Monde reported that more than 14 soldiers are under investigation.

The Guardian revelation was based on a leaked report by a senior UN aid worker, Anders Kompass, who disclosed the abuse allegation to French prosecutors last July, after the UN failed to take action to stop the abuse. Kompass is under investigation for breaching confidential information and was suspended after leaking the report.

According to many witnesses, young boys accused French soldiers of having raped and abused them “in exchange for food” or money. The incidents took place before and after the establishment of the UN-led peacekeeping mission in CAR.

The leaked report contains interviews with six children, who were sexually abused by French soldiers. Some indicated that several of their friends were also sexually assaulted. According to the Guardian, “The interviews were carried out by an official from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights justice section and a member of Unicef between May and June last year.”

One interview describes how two nine-year-old children were sexually assaulted together by two French soldiers who demanded oral sex in exchange for food.

The Guardian continues, “Another nine-year-old child describes how he went to ask for food from the French military at the IDP camp at M’Poko airport. He says the soldier told him to carry out a sex act on him first … He [the child] had friends who had done it already, he knew what he had to do. Once done the military gave a military food portion and some food. X said the military had forbidden him to tell anything about him to anybody, and that if he would do so he would beat him.”

The sexual abuse committed by French soldiers exposes the utterly fraudulent character of the “humanitarian” pretensions of French imperialism’s intervention in CAR, a former French colony.

Paris launched its military intervention in CAR in December 2013 under the guise of halting sectarian violence between majority Christian and minority Muslims. Paris initially backed Muslim Seleka forces in an attempt to topple President François Bozizé, aiming to seize the strategically located country in the centre of the African continent, and destroying China’s growing economic influence in the country. China had made several key deals with the CAR under Bozizé, including on oil contracts and military cooperation.

Paris initially deployed 1,600 troops in the CAR and around 2,000 troops are being deployed under the peacekeeping mission, codenamed Operation Sangaris. Since Paris intervened militarily, the humanitarian crisis has deepened and sectarian conflict has escalated.

Although the report on the sexual abuse emerged last July, the PS government kept total silence on the matter and avoided taking any legal action. Since the Guardian ’s revelation, the government has made hypocritical comments, and is seeking to whitewash the case.

When informed on the affair last July, in an interview to Le Journal du Dimanche on May 3, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian claimed to have felt “disgust and a form of betrayal of the mission that was given to Operation Sangaris,” adding: “I immediately transmitted the report to the judiciary. It was our wish that the full truth rapidly come to light in this affair.”

After the report was passed to the French prosecutor, an internal army investigation into the matter reportedly was carried out, ending in August.

Le Drian claimed that the investigation has been “made available to the justice system.” With the case still in its preliminary stages after it was opened nine months ago, Le Drian downplayed it, saying, “I believe it is a complex inquiry. Since the crimes allegedly took place, most of the soldiers involved have left this theater of operations, but this should not prevent the judiciary from rapidly doing its work.”

In a cynical attempt to give a positive, “humanitarian” face to more imperialist crimes, President François Hollande said, “If some soldiers have behaved badly, I will show no mercy … You know the trust I have in our army, [and] the role the French military play in the world.”

UN peacekeepers accused of killing and rape in Central African Republic. Amnesty International claims troops raped 12-year-old-girl and shot dead a father and his son while indiscriminately shooting in the street after armed clashes: here.

French neo-colonial military abuse of African children


This video says about itself:

France, US want to keep Africa under colonial rule

10 April 2013

France has started pulling its troops from Mali – the first step in handing over operations to a UN-approved African force. The French anticipated a short campaign against Islamist insurgents in January – but now plan on keeping one thousand troops by the end of the year. Investigative journalist Michel Collon thinks Africa’s instability is the perfect excuse for the west to intervene and exploit the continent’s untouched resources.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

UN aid worker suspended for leaking report on child abuse by French troops

Anders Kompass said to have passed confidential document to French authorities because of UN’s failure to stop abuse of children in Central African Republic

Sandra Laville

Wednesday 29 April 2015 11.02 BST

A senior United Nations aid worker has been suspended for disclosing to prosecutors an internal report on the sexual abuse of children by French peacekeeping troops in the Central African Republic.

Sources close to the case said Anders Kompass passed the document to the French authorities because of the UN’s failure to take action to stop the abuse. The report documented the sexual exploitation of children as young as nine by French troops stationed in the country as part of international peacekeeping efforts.

Kompass, who is based in Geneva, was suspended from his post as director of field operations last week and accused of leaking a confidential UN report and breaching protocols. He is under investigation by the UN office for internal oversight service (OIOS) amid warnings from a senior official that access to his case must be “severely restricted”. He faces dismissal.

The treatment of the aid worker, who has been involved in humanitarian work for more than 30 years, has taken place with the knowledge of senior UN officials, including Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the high commissioner for human rights, and Susana Malcorra, chef de cabinet in the UN, according to documents relating to the case.

The abuses took place in 2014 when the UN mission in the country, Minusca, was in the process of being set up.

The Guardian has been passed the internal report on the sexual exploitation by Paula Donovan, co-director of the advocacy group Aids Free World, who is demanding an independent commission inquiry into the UN’s handling of sexual abuse by peacekeepers.

It was commissioned by the UN office of the high commissioner for human rights after reports on the ground that children, who are among the tens of thousands displaced by the fighting, were being sexually abused.

Entitled Sexual Abuse on Children by International Armed Forces and stamped “confidential” on every page, the report details the rape and sodomy of starving and homeless young boys by French peacekeeping troops who were supposed to be protecting them at a centre for internally displaced people in Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic.

Donovan said: “The regular sex abuse by peacekeeping personnel uncovered here and the United Nations’ appalling disregard for victims are stomach-turning, but the awful truth is that this isn’t uncommon. The UN’s instinctive response to sexual violence in its ranks – ignore, deny, cover up, dissemble – must be subjected to a truly independent commission of inquiry with total access, top to bottom, and full subpoena power.”

The UN has faced several scandals in the past relating to its failure to act over paedophile rings operating in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kosovo and Bosnia. It has also faced allegations of sexual misconduct by its troops in Haiti, Burundi and Liberia.

The treatment of Kompass, a Swedish national, threatens to spark a major diplomatic row.

This month, the Swedish ambassador to the United Nations warned senior UN officials “it would not be a good thing if the high commissioner for human rights forced” Kompass to resign. The ambassador threatened to go public if that happened and to engage in a potentially ugly and harmful debate.

The abuses detailed in the internal report took place before and after Minusca was set up last year. Interviews with the abused children were carried out between May and June last year by a member of staff from the office for the high commissioner of human rights and a Unicef specialist. The children identified represent just a snapshot of the numbers potentially being abused.

The boys, some of whom were orphans, disclosed sexual exploitation, including rape and sodomy, between December 2013 and June 2014 by French troops at a centre for internally displaced people at M’Poko airport in Bangui.

The children described 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 child described how the soldiers forced him and his friend to carry out a sex act. The report describes how distressed the child was when disclosing the abuse and how he fled the camp in terror after the assault. Some of the children were able to give good descriptions of the soldiers involved.

In summer 2014, the report was passed to officials within the office for the high commission of human rights in Geneva. When nothing happened, Kompass sent the report to the French authorities and they visited Bangui and began an investigation.

It is understood a more senior official was made aware of Kompass’s actions and raised no objections. But last month Kompass was called in and accused of breaching UN protocols by leaking details of a confidential report, according to sources.

Kompass’s emails have been seized as part of the investigation into the alleged leak. One senior UN official has said of Kompass that “it was his duty to know and comply” with UN protocols on confidential documents.

Bea Edwards, of the Government Accountability Project, an international charity that supports whistleblowers, condemned the UN for its witch-hunt against a whistleblower who had acted to stop the abuse of children.

“We have represented many whistleblowers in the UN system over the years and in general the more serious the disclosure they make the more ferocious the retaliation,” said Edwards. ”Despite the official rhetoric, there is very little commitment at the top of the organisation to protect whistleblowers and a strong tendency to politicise every issue no matter how urgent.”

UN sources confirmed an investigation by the French was ongoing – in cooperation with the UN – into allegations of a very serious nature against peacekeepers in the Central African Republic.

On Wednesday a spokesman for the French justice ministry told Reuters: “A preliminary investigation has been opened by the Paris prosecutor since July 31, 2014. The investigation is ongoing,” he said, declining to give further details.

A spokesman for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights confirmed an investigation was under way into the leaking of confidential information by a staff member.

France’s poisoned legacy in the Central African Republic. Latest mission to the former colony in 2013 was to protect people displaced by sectarian conflict – now French troops are accused of engaging in child abuse: here.

Lost English cuckoo found again in Africa


This video from England says about itself:

21 August 2013

Discover more about the story of cuckoos on Dartmoor and hear about an exciting project that will be tracking their migration to Africa.

From Wildlife Extra:

Lost cuckoo makes dramatic reappearance

March 2014: One of the migrating cuckoos being tracked by the British Trust for Ornithology on its migration to and from sub-Saharan Africa has been located after a three-month silence. Tor, the cuckoo that was fitted with its tracking device in Dartmoor National Park last May had ‘gone dark’ and was feared dead.

Tor’s satellite signal, that transmits for 10 hours every couple of days to reveal the location of the bird and, occasionally, its body heat measurement, was last received on 4 December, at which time he was on the Gabon/Congo border. It is not unknown for the transmitters’ batteries to degrade or for the birds to be under dense cover for extended periods which prevents the devices’ solar panels from charging them up, but usually there is only a period of a week or two before they spring into life again.

In this case, Tor stayed under the radar for an unprecedented amount of time until he resurfaced in early March in the Central African Republic.

The BTO has been satellite-tracking cuckoos on their migration since 2011 in order to find out their important stop-over sites and wintering destinations to and from Africa and so discover why we have lost more than half of our breeding cuckoos in the past 25 years. Last spring 15 cuckoos were tagged, most of which are now on their way back to the UK. Information from the project will help to form conservation strategies and initiate action.

To find out more about the project and follow the progress of this year’s cuckoos as they return to the UK, visit here.

You can also sponsor a cuckoo and help finance the research here.

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