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Sudan police open probe into UNAMID rape claim: Ministry

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Khartoum: The Sudanese police are investigating an officer from the UN-African Union mission in Darfur over allegations he raped a woman in the western region, a foreign ministry spokesman said Friday.
After reports in the local press “against one of the officers from the UNAMID forces in Darfur, investigations were started on the case,” foreign ministry spokesman Yousif al-Kordofani told AFP.

“If there is evidence against the officer, he will be prosecuted” in a Sudanese court because such crimes are not subject to diplomatic immunity, Kordofani told AFP.

He gave no further details of the UNAMID officer or his nationality and did not say when the rape was alleged to have occurred.

A UNAMID press officer said the mission “takes every allegation of staff misconduct, including sexual exploitation and abuse, very seriously and urges any information to that effect to be shared immediately with the mission”.

It did not give any further details of when the attack was alleged to have occurred.

The ministry`s announcement came two days after Human Rights Watch published a report saying Sudanese troops raped more than 200 women and girls in a Darfur village last year.

UNAMID peacekeepers were initially denied access to the village and said there was no evidence to support the rape claim when they did report.

An internal report from UNAMID said Sudanese soldiers had intimidated villagers in Tabit as the peacekeepers tried to interview them.

UNAMID deployed to Darfur in 2007, four years after ethnic insurgents rose up against the Arab-dominated government of President Omar al-Bashir, complaining of their marginalisation.

Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes in Darfur, where the UN says at least 300,000 people have been killed and two million displaced since 2003.

AFP

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