Nepali peacekeepers accused of raping two teenage girls in South Sudan

Nepali peacekeepers

KTHAMANDU, April 24: Nepali peacekeepers have been accused of raping two teenage girls in South Sudan, according to UN Officials.

“UN peacekeepers from Nepal are facing allegations of child rape in South Sudan, the UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Monday, describing the case as “especially heinous.”

“Any act of sexual abuse is horrendous,” added the UN spokesman, “One involving a child is especially heinous.”

The allegations were received on April 13 and involve Nepalese troops serving in the UN mission in South Sudan who allegedly raped two teenage girls. It remains unclear how many Nepalese soldiers are involved.

Nepal, at the request of the United Nations, has agreed to send a team of investigators to work with the UN office of internal oversight on the case.

The United Nations has deployed 14,800 troops and police in South Sudan, with a mandate to protect civilians caught up in a brutal war between President Salva Kiir’s forces and rebels.

In February, 46 UN peacekeepers from Ghana were recalled from their base in northwestern South Sudan after the mission received allegations of sexual exploitation of women.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has vowed to toughen the UN response to allegations of misconduct against the blue helmets, whose mission is to protect vulnerable civilians in conflict zones.