Central African Republic groups cheer UN head's resignation

Widespread relief greeted the resignation of the head of the peacekeeping mission in Central Africa Republic over the force's handling of dozens of misconduct allegations, including rape and killing.

Babacar Gaye, the Senegalese former mission head, handed in his resignation Wednesday after more allegations surfaced of abuses by U.N. peacekeepers in the country.

Crepin Mboli-Goumba, the head of the African Party for Radical Transformation and Integration of States, said people were shocked about the sexual abuse allegations against the peacekeeping mission there.

"We hope this resignation opens the door to other resignations," he said. He called for the prosecution of those responsible and compensation for abused children.

Gervais Lakosso, group coordinator for civil society organizations, said he hopes the resignation will improve the peacekeeping mission.

"We hope that this resignation will change the situation in the country," he said. "The U.N. secretary-general must appoint a personality who is diplomatic and can live up to the mission."

The U.N.'s internal investigation unit is sending several people to Central African Republic in the coming days, the spokesman for the secretary-general, Stephane Dujarric, said Thursday.

Amnesty International on Tuesday accused U.N. peacekeepers in Central African Republic's capital of indiscriminately killing a 16-year-old boy and his father and raping a 12-year-old girl in separate incidents this month.

That follows allegations that U.N. peacekeepers had sexually abused street children in Bangui and a separate allegation of child sexual abuse against a peacekeeper in the eastern part of the country.

The U.N. mission is also being investigated over how it handled child sexual abuse allegations leveled against French troops last year.