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

Seventies squatters republic wins flower battle with Cath Kidston

Cath Kidston has withdrawn a controversial plan to trade mark the name of a 1970’s squat for a range of flowery bags, clothes and umbrellas.The company sparked outrage from the founders of ‘Frestonia’ who claimed it had no right to try to own the name of the commune set up in North Kensington, West London, in 1977.The Telegraph revealed how artists, writers, musicians and the comedian Alexei Sayle who either lived or performed at the squat had condemned the home furnishing company for trying to “commercialise” the name.Cath Kidston, created in 1993 by the English fashion designer Catherine Kidston, moved its headquarters to Freston Road in 2010. It is now owned by Baring Private Equity Asia, an investment company based in Hong Kong.A Cath Kidston spokesperson last night said it had dropped the application because it “recognised the importance of being a good neighbour” to the West London community where its headquarters are based.“After taking on board the views of local people, we decided to withdraw our application to trademark the name Frestonia.“The name was inspired by Freston Road, where our head office is based, and was never intended to cause offence.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more