DS: Uganda soldiers in CAR raping spree

From HASSAN ONYANGO in Kampala, Uganda,
(CAJ News) – It is feared the allegations are only a tip of the iceberg because sexual violence is generally underreported while in the CAR, women and girls often do not report sexual violence or exploitation due to shame, stigma, or fear of retaliation.Human Rights Watch (HRW) said it had interviewed various women and girls in early 2017, who described exploitation or abuse since 2010 by Ugandan soldiers in the southeastern town of Obo, where Ugandan forces have been based based.
Victims said soldiers threatened reprisals if they told Ugandan and United Nations investigators about the abuse.HRW said some 15 women and girls interviewed said they became pregnant, but in each case the soldier who fathered the child left the country and had not provided any support.The Ugandan military has been deployed in the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in CAR since 2009 as a part of the African Union’s Regional Task Force to eliminate the Uganda rebel group, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), but recently announced it is withdrawing its troops.“As counter-LRA operations wind down, Uganda’s military should not ignore allegations of sexual exploitation and rape by its soldiers in the Central African Republic,” said Lewis Mudge, Africa executive at HRW.Internal UN report from 2016 indicated UN investigators in Obo registered 18 cases of sexual violence or harassment by Ugandan soldiers against women and girls who were afraid to give details out of fear of reprisals.
Investigators also obtained information about 44 women and girls with children fathered by Ugandan soldiers.
However, the Ugandan military said at the time that it conducted an investigation in Obo and found no evidence of wrongdoing.
-CAJ News

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