South African troops serving in the UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo have been accused of beating a 17-year-old boy and sexually exploiting women, a UN spokesman said today.
UN and South African investigators will conduct a joint probe of the four allegations of misconduct that took place in Kasai province and in North Kivu.
The allegations, which surfaced last week, involve a 17- year-old Congolese boy who was subjected to "physical violence" in eastern Kasai, said spokesman Stephane Dujarric.
Given the "serious concern raised by these allegations", the United Nations has asked South Africa to send a team of agents to the DR Congo within five days and that the investigation be completed within 90 days, he added.
Dujarric did not says how many troops were involved.
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 United Nations carries out joint investigations with the national authorities.
The United Nations has nearly 17,500 troops and police serving in the DR Congo, its biggest mission.
South Africa deployed around 1,300 soldiers as part of a UN intervention brigade trying to bring peace to the conflict-torn eastern DRC region.
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