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AU troops raped girls in Somalia – HRW

Troops from the African Union raped women and girls in Mogadishu, a new report by Human Rights Watch says.

The forces are said to have raped women seeking medical aid or water from their bases, with one 15 year old girl having her headscarf ripped off before being raped, the human rights group said.

“Some African Union soldiers have misused their positions of power to exploit Somalia’s most vulnerable women and girls,” said Liesl Gerntholtz, women’s rights director at Human Rights Watch.

“Somalia has many intractable problems, but the Somali and AU leadership could end sexual exploitation and abuse by pressing troop-sending countries to hold abusers responsible.”

"The AU can no longer turn a blind eye to the abuses on Amisom [AU Mission in Somalia] bases, as it's undermining the very credibility of the mission," she said.

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