Central African Republic UN completes investigations into allegations of sexual abuse by

The UN Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) interviewed 139 people and then investigated their accounts. 16 possible perpetrators from Gabon and 25 from Burundi have been identified through photos and corroborating evidence. Of the 139 victims, 25 were minors who asserted that they were sexually assaulted. Eight paternity claims have been filed, six of which were by minors.The United Nations has shared the report with the Governments of Burundi and Gabon, which includes the names of the identified alleged perpetrators. It has requested that appropriate judicial action proceed in order to ensure criminal accountability.Investigations began in April 2016, several days after the allegations were brought to the attention of the UN. They continued for more than four months and relied primarily on victim and witness testimony due to a lack of medical, forensic, or other physical evidence – the majority of allegations referred to incidents that had taken place between 2014 and 2015. All of the alleged perpetrators had been rotated out of the CAR before the allegations surfaced.“Responsibility for further investigations lies with Burundi and Gabon,” stated a noted to correspondents issued by the UN Spokespersons Office today. The UN has requested a copy of the final national investigation reports to be issued within the next two weeks. If allegations are found to be substantiated and warranted, the commanding officers of the perpetrators will be prohibited from deployment in future peacekeeping operations.The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) has strengthened prevention measures and reinforced outreach among communities and peacekeepers throughout the country to improve awareness and reporting on sexual exploitation and other forms of misconduct, particularly in high-risk areas.The Mission regularly monitors conditions and behaviours of the mission’s personnel and partners with other UN agencies and organizations throughout the CAR who provide psychosocial, medical, and legal assistance to victims of sexual exploitation and abuse.In the note, the UN condemned in the strongest terms possible any acts of sexual exploitation and abuse committed by peacekeepers or other UN personnel and reaffirmed its commitment to ensure that perpetrators of abhorrent crimes are brought to justice. read more

Badger women claim silver at national curling championships

They don’t call them ‘Team Resilient’ for nothing.The Brock University’s women’s curling team proved why they’ve earned the moniker by securing a silver medal at the national university curling championships Tuesday.This is the second consecutive year the women’s squad brought home a medal from the U SPORTS Curling Championships, this time held at Willie O’Ree Place in Fredericton, N.B.“Our women’s team has been nicknamed ‘Team Resilient’ and they remained supportive of each other throughout the game and the season,” said head coach Murray Etherington. “I am extremely proud of the women’s efforts and competitive display today.”Both teams made few mistakes in the faceoff and the skips were strong with their last stones, which resulted in a low-scoring game with not a lot of big opportunities to widen the scoring gap. Laurentian never trailed, winning 7-5.The Badgers read the ice well early in the match, but Laurentian led 3-0 after the first end.“We had a couple of misses in the first end that our opponents capitalized on,” said Etherington. “After that, both teams played a great game.”Back-to-back sharp throws by senior skip Terri Weeks late in the second diffused all of Laurentian’s plays and allowed the Badgers to keep the hammer heading into the third, where they brought the score within one (3-2).Weeks made a difficult throw to destroy the guards Laurentian built in the fourth, but the Voyageurs registered a point with a calculated throw.Voyageurs skip Kira Brunton continued to restore Laurentian’s lead by two every time Brock pulled within one.Holding the hammer in the ninth, Brock’s first-year vice Claire Randell tossed a pair of dynamite throws to put Brock into the red, with the Badgers trailing 6-5 into the final end.“Our last shot hit and rolled out in the ninth end. That was unfortunate, but we made Laurentian throw their last shot to the button and Kira Brunton made a great shot to win,” said Etherington. “That is really all that you can ask for.”The women’s team consists of Weeks, Randell, second Marcia Richardson, lead Jillian Page, fifth Laura Henderson and alternates Sarah Bailey and Cassie Barnard. The women’s assistant coach is Karen Heywood.The Badgers, who curl out of the St. Catharines Golf and Country Club, enjoyed a successful curling season. The women’s team went 5-2 in the round robin and overcame Queen’s 6-5 in the semifinals. At the OUA championships, the women won bronze.The men’s team went 2-5 at nationals and won a silver medal at the OUA championships.“I know the men struggled, but I am really proud of how they competed hard in every game and then came out to support the women,” Murray said. “Both teams represented Brock University with enormous pride. I am thankful to have such a great coaching staff and so many terrific student-athletes in our program.” read more