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UN chief condemns ‘appalling’ child sexual abuse allegations in meeting with member states

In this photo taken Saturday, April 5, 2014, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks to the media during a press conference in Bangui, Central African Republic.
In this photo taken Saturday, April 5, 2014, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks to the media during a press conference in Bangui, Central African Republic. AP/Herve Cyriaque Serefio

The United Nations chief has condemned “appalling allegations” of child sexual abuse by French soldiers in Central African Republic.

The condemnation came during a meeting with worried countries, while the U.S. ambassador is welcoming a new external review into how the reports were handled.

Ban Ki-moon spoke Friday with Australia, Japan, Finland and Guatemala, who did not comment afterward.

Confidential documents have shown that the U.N.’s top human rights officials did not follow up for more than half a year on allegations collected by their own staffers, while French authorities pressed for more information. France opened a formal judicial inquiry just last month.

U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power in a statement says the external review is a chance “to learn what went wrong at every point in this process.”

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