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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 July, 2005, 17:37 GMT 18:37 UK
UN sex abuse sackings in Burundi
South African peacekeepers in Burundi
More than 5,000 UN peacekeepers are in Burundi
Two United Nations peacekeepers in Burundi have been sacked after having sex with prostitutes and minors.

UN spokesman Penangnini Toure said the two soldiers had been found guilty of breaking a strict code of conduct which forbids sex with prostitutes.

He said the men had been repatriated, but refused to say which countries they came from. Earlier, UN radio reported both were Ethiopian.

More than 5,000 peacekeepers are in Burundi to support its peace process.

Some 300,000 people were killed in the country's 12-year civil war.

Sex ban

The soldiers were off duty when they had sex with two prostitutes, one of whom was a minor, said Mr Toure, who is the UN's spokesman in Burundi.

We have a code of conduct which is simple but strict: We cannot have sex with prostitutes
UN's Penangnini Toure

"This is a difficult situation to deal with and we are taking this very seriously. That's why we've come to this conclusion to repatriate these two soldiers," he told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme.

"Any child under the age of 18 is considered a minor by the UN," Mr Toure said.

"We have a code of conduct which is simple but strict: We cannot have sex with prostitutes."

In neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, UN peacekeepers are banned from having sex with locals after widespread claims of sexual abuse.

In January, an inquiry found that seven UN staff - six of whom were peacekeepers - had sexually abused girls as young as 13 in DR Congo.

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Country profile: Burundi
26 Feb 04 |  Country profiles


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