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Published:July 20th, 2007 15:58 EST

Côte d’Ivoire: UN suspends contingent suspected of sexual exploitation

By SOP newswire

Acting on the findings of an internal investigation conducted by the United Nations Mission in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) which revealed serious allegations of widespread sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers there, the world body has suspended the contingent concerned, a spokesperson announced today.

The UN’s Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) is currently conducting a full investigation, but the UN has decided to suspend the contingent’s activities and has cantoned the unit within its base, UN spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters.

“The United Nations reiterates its zero tolerance policy towards sexual exploitation and abuse and stresses its determination to work with our troop and police contributing countries to ensure that all UN personnel are held accountable to the highest standards of behaviour," she said.