NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania – Mauritania's defense minister vowed that his country's peacekeepers will never be implicated in the type of sex abuse allegations that rocked Central African Republic's U.N. mission in recent months.
Diallo Mamadou Bathia made his remarks during a ceremony Sunday before the deployment of 225 Mauritanian soldiers to Central African Republic, where thousands have been killed in sectarian fighting since 2013. Diallo said an additional 300 soldiers will be sent in three weeks.
The arrival of the latest Mauritanian battalion comes less than a week before a Congolese battalion deployed to Central African Republic is scheduled to begin heading home after being accused of sexual abuse and exploitation.
In January, the U.N. said there were 22 confirmed allegations of sexual abuse or exploitation against its peacekeeping mission in Central African Republic.