French troops on patrol in Central Africa Republic. (Timothy Kisambira)

French troops on patrol in Central Africa Republic. (Timothy Kisambira)

Cyrus Munyaburanga Nkusi, the secretary-general of the Movement, termed the incident as ?unfortunate and saddening.?

Nkusi said the incident was a compelling reason for African countries to develop African solutions for their problems rather than wait for external help.

The reports of the abuses, which took place between 2013 and 2014, came to light last month after a confidential United Nations report was leaked.

The six-page document details the rape abuses by French peacekeeping troops at a centre for internally displaced persons in the capital Bangui.

Nkusi said the sexual abuse cases and attempted cover up by the United Nations should serve as a call for African nations to unite and together address issues that affect them.

?The incident, which recently came to light, is a representation of other injustices perpetrated by some of the external actors,? he said.

Solving own problems

Nkusi called for justice for the victims of the abuse, saying no country no matter its influence and level of development, should get away with such crimes.

Going forward, the Movement called for the fast-tracking of an African Standby Force that would take charge of peace keeping in the African continent.

Rwanda currently maintains 750 peacekeeping troops under the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) and 140 special police forces that contributed tremendously in peace restoration and disarmament of armed groups in the war-torn country.

The Pan-African Movement?s call comes in the wake of mounting pressure on the United Nations to take immediate action to address the cases of sexual abuse by French peacekeepers in CAR, especially from civil society activists.

Led by a host of international non-governmental organisations, such as Save the Children, the group has expressed concern in the manner in which the United Nations allegedly attempted to cover up the allegations.

They further called for clarifications into the circumstances and the facts regarding the UN?s response after it was made aware of the findings of the internal report.

The civil society groups also urged the United Nations to ensure that the provision of support and care to children who are victims of such abuse is a priority.

?The UN sets the standards for how states, institutions and societies across the world view and treat human rights. As such, it has a responsibility to swiftly report abuse to the competent authorities, ensure access to justice and support for victims, ? especially children, and protect those who have the courage to speak out,? the civil society members wrote in a letter addressed to UN Secretary-General.

By Collins Mwai, Tanzania Daily News

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