French leaders hail probe into CAR child sex abuse

“The heads of state have found a perfect co-operation between the justice [authorities] of the two countries in the conduct of the ongoing investigations,” the leaders said in statement issued by the Elysee Palace.

Earlier in May, the Paris prosecutor opened a judicial inquiry into the sexual assault case. This built upon a preliminary investigation by French officials, begun in July 2014, after they saw a UN report outlining the allegations, made by four boys aged between 9 and 13.

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When opening the judicial inquiry, the prosecutor said the “hierarchy” of the UN had made it difficult to obtain information about the case. The French troops had been stationed in Bangui as part of a peacekeeping mission.

The Central African Repuclic’s (CAR’s) interim president, Catherina Samba Panza, met with French President Francois Hollande after a conference in Brussels on Tuesday aimed at drumming up financial support for the conflict-torn country.

During the conference, European countries committed $414-million for humanitarian and budget support. Samba-Panza hailed the aid as CAR gears up for critical elections in 2015, for which she has said she will not run.

CAR has suffered sectarian violence since Muslim Seleka rebels overthrew president Francois Bozize, a Christian, in March 2013. Thousands of people have been killed and about 1-million displaced due to the conflict. – News24 

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