Around a quarter of the world's gold production is in Africa and extraction of the precious metal has been been stepped up as its price on world markets has increased. But a significant proportion of this mining is carried out illegally by small-scale miners and much of the gold then finds its way into the hands of criminal and armed groups across the continent before being sold in the Middle East. Fanny Pigeaud reports on attempts to clean up the sector through stronger regulations.
A French judicial investigation into claims relayed by the United Nations that several French soldiers engaged in a peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic perpetrated rape and sexual abuse of minors between 2013 and 2014 has been wound down after magistrates ruled there was insifficient evidence to support a prosecution.
Following the revelation in late April that a UN investigation had collected convincing evidence that French peacekeeping troops in the Central African Republic (CAR) had sexually abused boys aged as young as nine, including acts of rape, the French authorities feigned to be unaware of the alleged events, despite being alerted at least eight months earlier. In this investigation by Mediapart, we present the confidential UN report in full, and hear from aid workers and members of inter-governmental organizations active in the strife-torn country how child abuse cases are in fact more widespread, why they believe there was a deliberate cover up of the UN evidence, and the tales of wider scandals involving members of the foreign community in CAR, a country that has become anything but a sovereign state. Thomas Cantaloube in Bangui and Célhia de Lavarène in New York report.
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