Britain is welcoming the decision to pull hundreds of Congolese troops out of the U.N. peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic, saying it sends a clear message that sexual abuse by peacekeepers will not be tolerated.

The United Nations announced last week that the troops would be repatriated and would not be replaced by another contingent from Congo. The decision came four months after three Congolese soldiers were accused of raping two women and a minor in the Central African Republic city of Bambari.

Britain's deputy U.N. ambassador, Peter Wilson, said Wednesday that the decision to remove the Congolese troops "is the kind of policy that we very strongly support."