Panel finds 'gross' failure by UN over child sex abuse claims

Officers from the UN mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) patrol a market in Bangui on September 14, 2015 as patrol vehicles from the French Operation Sangaris forces drive pastAn independent panel sharply rebuked the United Nations on Thursday for “gross institutional failure” to act on allegations that French and African troops sexually abused children in the Central African Republic. In a long-awaited report, the panel described a breakdown in UN leadership on the ground in Bangui followed by missteps by senior officials in Geneva and New York after the allegations were leaked. “The end result was a gross institutional failure to respond to the allegations in a meaningful way,” said the hard-hitting report by the three-member panel led by Canadian judge Marie Deschamps.

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