/ 17 March 2008

SA woman accuses Indian peacekeepers of rape

A South African woman has accused Indian peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo of raping her while on leave, the Indian Express reported on Tuesday.

South African police detained three Indian army officers working with United Nations peacekeeping forces in the Central African nation on March 12 following the accusations, the report said.

The men have since been released and India’s Defence Minister AK Antony has asked for a report on the incident, the newspaper said.

The woman said the men raped her while they were on holiday in South Africa, the report said.

A South African delegation brought the matter to the attention of Indian authorities in New Delhi last week, the report said.

There are currently about 17 600 peacekeepers in the DRC — almost a quarter of them Indian — overseeing the transition from a devastating civil war in which millions died.

Indian peacekeepers in the DRC have also been accused of trading in gold and guns with Congolese militia they were meant to be disarming. – AFP