French UN Peacekeepers in Child Abuse Scandal

NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE

United Nations Peacekeepers do a tremendous job world wide and the Celtic League have often commended their role, particularly the role of contingents from one of the Celtic countries, Ireland, many of whom have died defending the oppressed and the vulnerable. Indeed following this years Annual General Meeting I took the opportunity as DOI of the League to visit the memorial garden for Irish UN Peacekeeper at Arbour Hill Dublin.

Occasionally however the exemplary record of Nations such as Ireland is tarnished by the actions of other countries and as Michael Chappell our (AGS) sets out below that is just what has happened with the allegations of child abuse against French peacekeepers in Africa.

This is not the first time this sort of allegation has surfaced both Italian and British troops have previously faced allegations of abuse whilst either on UN duties or training in African countries:

“French soldiers suspended over child sex abuse claims.

One of the many roles of the Celtic League is to report on the very real dangers of militarism.

Down the years, the League has played a pivotal part in monitoring military activity and recently, Celtic News releases have highlighted the British military’s farcical recruiting attempts on the Isle of Man and elsewhere including in schools, the covering up criminal activity by military personnel, the use of illegal substances by members of British forces, the effects of British military operations on marine life and the natural environment, the hazards caused by RAF low flying and operation of dangerous and obsolescent aircraft as well as the threat caused to fishermen by naval submarine activity.

In this, we have recommended the ‘ForcesWatch’ organisation which scrutinises the ethics of armed forces recruitment practices and challenges efforts to embed militarist values in civilian society.

However, it is not only the actions of British armed forces which cause concern, as it has recently come to light that the French Ministry of Defence has suspended two more of its soldiers following allegations of child abuse involving a five year old girl during operations in the West African country of Burkina Faso.

A camera was found with images of the abuse which had been filmed by the soldiers.

These recent allegations follow an alleged child sex abuse scandal involving French troops in the Central African Republic which caused outrage in France and around the world. The alleged abuse concerned about ten children and took place between December 2013 and June 2014 at a centre for displaced people.

No less than fourteen French soldiers are now under investigation for allegedly sexually abusing minors at a centre for displaced people in Ouagadougou the capital of Burkina Faso. Some of the abuse reportedly took place after the children in the conflict ridden country begged the peacekeepers for food.

Media reports:

https://www.france24.com/fr/20150701-france-burkina-faso-armee-soldats-scandale-sexuel-pedophilie-barkhane-ministe-drian-suspend

CL News on ‘ForcesWatch’:

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/celtic_league/conversations/messages/4510

Prepared for CL News by Assistant General Secretary – ags@celticleague.net

#celticleague”

J B Moffatt (Mr)

Director of Information
Celtic League

03/07/15

(Please note that replies to correspondence received by the League and posted on CL News are usually scanned hard copies. Obviously every effort is made to ensure the scanning process is accurate but sometimes errors do occur.)

ISSUED BY THE CELTIC LEAGUE INFORMATION SERVICE

The Celtic League was established in 1961and has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues

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