Allegations that Georgian peacekeepers raped teenage girls while serving in the Central African Republic should force Tbilisi, as well as the European Union, to rethink training methods aimed at reducing the risk of sexual abuse by soldiers on peacekeeping missions.
The UN announced January 28 that at least three girls between the ages of 14 and 16 told investigators that they had been raped in 2014 by Georgian peacekeepers stationed in the Central African Republic’s capital, Bangui. French soldiers also serving with the European Union Force, known as EUFOR, are alleged to have traded bottled water and cookies for sexual favors from a seven-year-old girl.
With the accusations already two years old, getting to the bottom of what actually happened could prove complicated. The Georgian contingent completed its peacekeeping mission last year, and an independent review of the Central African Republic case found that the UN had bungled its internal investigation.
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Ryan McCarrel is a PhD candidate in the School of Geography at University College Dublin. He writes extensively on international security and geopolitics. You can follow him on Twitter @ryanmccarrel.