UN suspends ties with Caritas in CAR over sex abuse probe

 

 

United Nations aid groups said on Monday they have suspended cooperation with the Catholic charity Caritas in the Central African Republic after a probe was opened into its former country chief for alleged sexual abuse of minors there.

Luk Delft, a Belgian priest, worked for two years in the northern city of Kaga Bandoro where the abuse allegedly occurred before he was promoted to Caritas’s director in the CAR in 2015.

Caritas has been operating in the strife-torn country since 1991, mainly coordinating programmes to protect children and assist displaced people.

The UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said that among the projects affected by the rupture is the management of displaced people’s camps in northern Nana Grebizi province as well as a food programme in southern Bambari.

Delft had informed his superiors of the allegations after CNN reported on them in June.


The Dignity foundation, set up by the Catholic Church in Belgium to combat the sexual abuse of minors, demanded in a statement on June 26 that Delft return home “immediately”.

It also called for the “preventive suspension of all his missions as priest for the duration of the investigation” launched in September by Belgian prosecutors.

Delft had already been convicted of sexual assault in a case dating from 2001. A court in Ghent gave him an 18-month suspended sentence in 2012 and banned him from any work involving contact with minors for 10 years.

The Vatican-based Caritas Internationalis said it “acknowledges the concerns of the international and local donor community”.

It added in an email: “We are positive that those concerns can be met as (the local Caritas) re-establishes donor confidence.”

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Agency
External source

Related stories

Women accuse aid workers of sexual abuse during the DRC’s Ebola crisis

More than 50 women have accused Ebola aid workers from the World Health Organisation...

Why do presidents cling to power?

Four former heads of state speak about what being president is actually like

In the Central African Republic, Bozizé plots his comeback

François Bozizé was president of the Central African Republic for a decade until his ousting in 2013. Now he’s plotting a comeback, but he had his chance — and failed

Inclusive cabinets don’t improve governance or reduce conflict

Research on 3 916 ministers in 23 African countries shows that cabinets are representative and that leaders select members to reduce internal threats from challengers

4.6 million people, one psychologist: The Central African Republic’s mental health crisis

Meet the Central African Republic’s only practising clinical psychologist

Elections test Africa’s democracy

Nine countries will go to the polls this year, but most will be held amid violence and suppression
Advertising

Subscribers only

Free State branches gun for Ace

Parts of the provincial ANC will target their former premier, Magashule, and the Free State PEC in a rolling mass action campaign

SAA bailout raises more questions

As the government continues to grapple with the troubles facing the airline, it would do well to keep on eye on the impending Denel implosion

More top stories

Hawks swoop down with more arrests in R1.4-billion corruption blitz

The spate of arrests for corruption continues apace in Gauteng and the Eastern Cape.

Catholic NGO boss accused of racism and abuse in Sudan

The aid worker allegedly called his security guard a ‘slave’

Agrizzi too ill to be treated at Bara?

The alleged crook’s “health emergency” — if that is what it is — shows up the flaws, either in our health system or in our leadership as a whole

SANDF hid R200m expenditure on ‘Covid’ drug it can’t use

Military health officials are puzzled by the defence department importing a drug that has not been approved for treating coronavirus symptoms from Cuba
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday