COLOMBO (AFP) — Sri Lanka Saturday promised a full probe into allegations that some of its troops deployed for UN peacekeeping operations in Haiti sexually exploited minors.
Sri Lanka's military spokesman, Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara, said four local investigators had already travelled to Haiti to conduct preliminary inquiries before the decision to recall 111 soldiers and three officers.
"We are going to have a full investigation after they return this week," Nanayakkara said. "We took the allegations seriously and want the charges investigated thoroughly."
He said those being sent back were not proven guilty, but the authorities decided to recall them in the interest of ongoing investigations.
It was the latest in a series of such scandals to hit the United Nations.
The accused from Sri Lanka's 950-strong contingent in the UN mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) "will be repatriated on disciplinary grounds on Saturday," UN spokeswoman Michele Montas said in a statement in New York.
Montas said the action was ordered "following allegations of incidents of sexual exploitation and abuse by members of MINUSTAH's Sri Lankan Battalion stationed in a number of locations in Haiti."
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