General Babacar Gaye, head of UN peacekeepers in the Central African Republic resigned on Wednesday as requested by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon following recent sex abuse and murder scandals.
“Today I have accepted the resignation of my special representative Mr. Babacar Gaye, head of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic, MINUSCA,” said Ban Ki-moon.
The UN mission in the Central African Republic has launched a probe into the rape of a 12-year-old girl by Rwandan and Cameroonian peacekeepers this week, along with the murder of a father and his son in the capital of the CAR, Bangui.
“Enough is enough,” said Ban before going on to say that he believes there is a need to take action following the “disturbing number of allegations” regarding the recent rape and murder cases.
Ban defended his decision by stating he had warned earlier that he would hold leaders accountable for the human rights violations that were committed under their administration.
Ban plans to gather special UN envoys at a meeting with the UN Security Council on Thursday, and discuss the necessary actions to be taken.
Regarding Gaye’s work as head of UN peacekeepers, Ban said he had served his position honourably.
Ban said justice in the case of crime should be ensured by the governments who send their peacekeepers, and that it is their responsibility to ensure the correct human rights education and training is given.
Others agreed with Ban, calling on countries to properly train and administer their nationals.
"Member states who contribute troops and police to UN missions must ensure that when their nationals are accused of such horrific crimes, their national legal systems swiftly investigate the allegations and hold perpetrators accountable," said US Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power.
Human rights abuse allegations are not a new emergence for UN peacekeeping missions, as similar allegations had surfaced in previous years.
Allegations of child sexual abuse by French troops at a refugee camp had emerged in late-2013 and mid-2014.
The UN has often been criticised for failing to take action over abuse allegations.
Documents related to previous cases were leaked to British media, and evidence showing that senior UN officials knew of the allegations for months, but failed to take action, have emerged.
Amnesty International says there is strong evidence and plenty of witnesses supporting the allegations.