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Last Updated: Friday, 22 July, 2005, 15:53 GMT 16:53 UK
Nepal troops jailed for sex abuse
UN peacekeepers in DR Congo
Some 900 Nepal soldiers are taking part in the DR Congo mission
Six Nepalese soldiers who served in a UN peacekeeping mission in DR Congo have been sentenced to prison for sexual abuse, Nepal's army has said.

The six men, sent to DR Congo as part of a force to protect civilians, will each serve three months in jail.

The junior-ranking soldiers were sent back to Nepal earlier this year after the allegations were made against them.

UN Peacekeepers have been banned from having sex with locals in DR Congo following claims of exploitation.

The case is believed to be one of the first in which soldiers returned to their home country have been prosecuted and sentenced for crimes committed as UN peacekeepers.

Exploitation

The UN introduced a raft of measures to prevent sexual abuse among its troops after accusations emerged that they were using food and money to pay for sex with young girls and women.

The measures include a non-fraternisation policy, curfews and measures to encourage women and girls who have been abused to report the offence.

More than 900 Nepalese soldiers have been taking part in the peacekeeping mission in DR Congo.

A total of 3,000 Nepalese soldiers serve in UN missions worldwide.

In February, six Moroccan peacekeepers working in DR Congo were arrested on suspicion of being involved in sexually exploiting women and girls.

And in neighbouring Burundi in July, two peacekeepers were sacked after having sex with prostitutes and minors.




SEE ALSO:
UN sexual allegations double
06 May 05 |  Americas
Sex scandal prompts UN overhaul
24 Mar 05 |  Africa
Country profile: Democratic Republic of Congo
04 May 05 |  Country profiles


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