Nepal Army denies S. Sudan rape


Nepali soldiers in UN peacekeeping duties in Juba, the capital of South Sudan. File photo: Dirgha Raj Upadhyay

Nepal Army has denied allegations that its soldiers deployed on a UN peace keeping mission in South Sudan raped two minor girls.

The Army headquarters in Kathmandu issued a statement on Thursday saying that an “incident” had indeed occurred on 13 April at its Aweil security base of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

It said some local teenage girls had tried to enter the base through its perimeter fence. There were reports this week that the soldiers had raped the girls.

UNMISS also issued a statement earlier on Tuesday, stating that no allegation of rape was made against Nepali peace keepers. But UNMISS stated that 'one of the teenage girls had been touched inappropriately by a member of the Nepalese contingent in exchange for money'.

A board of inquiry set up by the Army as per a request by the UNMISS headquarters is yet to submit its full report.

The Army has also stated that it will take action if its soldiers are found guilty by the inquiry board, reiterating its zero-tolerance policy towards sexual exploitation and abuse.

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