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South African troops accused of abuse in DR Congo: UN

AFP  |  United Nations 

South African troops serving in the UN mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo have been accused of beating a 17-year-old boy and sexually exploiting women, a UN said today.

UN and South African investigators will conduct a joint probe of the four allegations of misconduct that took place in province and in

The allegations, which surfaced last week, involve a 17- year-old Congolese boy who was subjected to "physical violence" in eastern Kasai, said

Given the "serious concern raised by these allegations", the has asked South to send a team of agents to the DR Congo within five days and that the investigation be completed within 90 days, he added.

The other three allegations concern the sexual exploitation of women in the towns of Sake, and Goma, one of whom gave birth to a child and is seeking child support.

Dujarric did not says how many troops were involved.

The in said in a statement that it took the allegations of "torture and assault" in a "serious light".

South Africa's told AFP that the investigators would be dispatched to the DR Congo within days.

Under UN rules, it is up to troop-contributing countries to prosecute their nationals accused of crimes while serving under the UN flag, but the carries out joint investigations with the national authorities.

UN 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.

The has nearly 17,500 troops and police serving in the DR Congo, its biggest mission.

South deployed around 1,300 soldiers as part of a UN intervention brigade trying to bring peace to the conflict-torn eastern DRC region.

In 2015 South recalled 50 of its peacekeepers for alleged "security breaches".

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, February 13 2018. 02:20 IST