UN pulls DR Congo troops from C. Africa mission

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in an annual report that there had been a total of 145 cases of sexual exploitation and abuse involving troops and civilians across all UN peace missions in 2016 (AFP Photo/ISSOUF SANOGO)

United Nations (United States) (AFP) - The United Nations has asked the Democratic Republic of Congo to repatriate its peacekeepers from the Central African Republic after they failed to meet UN standards, a spokesman said Friday.

The Congolese troops serving in the MINUSCA force underwent two reviews by UN peacekeeping officials who found that they "only partially" met UN requirements "in terms of equipment, vetting and preparedness," said spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

"In light of this result, the battalion from the Democratic Republic of the Congo currently deployed to MINUSCA will be repatriated without replacement," he said.

In August, allegations surfaced that three peacekeepers from the Democratic Republic of Congo had raped three young women in the town of Bambari, northeast of the capital Bangui.

There are 807 troops and 118 police from the DR Congo serving in the 10,000-strong MINUSCA force.

The Central African Republic is struggling to recover from sectarian violence that exploded after a 2013 coup, pitting mainly Muslim rebels against Christian militias.