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U.N. aid worker suspended after leaking report on French soldiers

Anders Kompass was suspended from his post as director of field operations last week after he was accused of leaking the confidential report

Published: Updated:

A United Nations aid worker was suspended this week after allegedly passing on a confidential report to French authorities which claimed that French peacekeeping soldiers had sexually abused children while stationed in the Central African Republic in 2014, the Guardian reported.

Anders Kompass was suspended from his post as director of field operations last week after he was accused of leaking a confidential report and breaching protocol, the British daily reported.

As U.N. officials took no action after the report had been submitted, the Swedish national decided to take the findings – which contained accounts by boys as young as 10 telling of being sexually exploited – to the French government, the British daily reported.

Kompass is currently under investigation by the U.N. office for internal oversight service (OIOS) and is facing dismissal.

Some of the French soldiers alleged to have sexually abused the children were identified, a French judicial source said on Thursday, Reuters news agency reported.

In the report, boys as young as 10 told of being raped and on occasion sodomized in exchange for food. The abuse is believed to have taken place between December 2013 and June 2014 at a center for internally displaced people in Bangui.

Following news of Kompass’ suspension and the report being leaked to the media, French President Francois Hollande on Thursday vowed to “show no mercy” if the peacekeeping troops did indeed sexually abuse the children.

“If some soldiers have behaved badly, I will show no mercy,” he said, according to Agence France-Presse.

The French defense ministry denied trying to cover up the potentially devastating scandal.

“There is no desire to hide anything,” Pierre Bayle, a spokesman for the defense ministry, told reporters.

“We are not hiding the facts, we are trying to verify the facts," he added, while urging “great caution” to be taken with regard to accusations that have yet to be proven.

The report was initially commissioned by the U.N. office of the high commissioner for human rights following reports of sexual abuse by peacekeepers.

In the summer of 2014, it was submitted to officials within the office of the high commissioner for human rights in Geneva. No action was taken, which prompted Kompass to forward it to French authorities who in turn began an investigation, sources told the Guardian.

U.N. sources also disclosed that the French are investigating, in cooperation with the U.N., a number of allegations of a very serious nature by peacekeepers in the Central African Republic.