April 29, 2015 / 4:24 PM / 4 years ago

France probes alleged child abuse by its troops in Central Africa

French soldiers from the peacekeeping forces walk near a camp for displaced people at M'Poko international airport in Bangui February 20, 2014. REUTERS/Luc Gnago

PARIS (Reuters) - A French prosecutor is carrying out a preliminary investigation into allegations of child abuse by French soldiers stationed in Central African Republic, a Justice Ministry spokesman said on Wednesday.

Responding to a report in British daily the Guardian that a senior U.N. aid worker had been suspended after disclosing to prosecutors an internal report on the sexual abuse of children by French troops, the spokesman said:

“A preliminary investigation has been opened by the Paris prosecutor since July 31, 2014. The investigation is ongoing,” he said declining to give further details.

A French judicial source said the prosecutor’s office had received the U.N. report in July 2014 and was investigating if there had been abuse on minors.

There was no immediate comment from the United Nations.

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