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JUBA - 4 Mar 2018

Govt wants independent probe into alleged sexual abuse by UN peacekeepers in Wau

 South Sudan’s government on Friday demanded for the establishment of an independent commission to probe into allegations of sexual exploitation by a unit of Ghanaian police officers serving under the UN mission in Wau.

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said recently it has recalled a unit of Ghanaian police officers from Wau and confined them to base after a preliminary investigation into allegations of sexual exploitation.

Top officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press conference the issue should not be investigated by an independent office within the UN Mission only.

The South Sudanese government urged the United Nations to agree to an independent or joint investigation into the alleged sexual abuses in Wau.

Baak Valentino Wol, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said they requested the UN mission to form a joint body to investigate the reported sexual exploitation inside the UN camp in Wau.

"You can't be a referee and at the same time a player. The UN can't conduct investigations to itself,” said John Andruga, director of international organizations at South Sudan’s Foreign Ministry.

The South Sudanese diplomat demanded that the UN POC 3 site in the capital Juba be closed down, citing crimes by a group of people sheltering inside the UN camp.