In December 2013, nine months after a rebel alliance called Seleka had captured the capital of Central African Republic and had unseated then President Francois Bozize, France decided to intervene in its former colony for what was seen as a descent into ethnic and sectarian violence.
Thousands of citizens were fleeing their homes and the United Nations (UN) was sounding the warning bells of a possible genocide.
July 2014 saw a UN official Anders Kompass leaking a confidential UN document which disclosed alleged sexual abuse of children by peacekeepers in the Central African Republic to prosecutors in France.
He had claimed that the UN was taking far too long to act. For all his troubles, Anders Kompass was suspended by the UN for leaking the report to French authorities, who immediately began investigating.
A study by independent experts in December revealed “gross institutional failure” by the UN in the way it responded to abuse allegations, claiming that children as young as nine were encouraged to have sex in exchange for food or money in conflict-ridden CAR.
A UN tribunal then ruled in May 2015 that Mr Kompass’s suspension was unlawful and he should be allowed to return to work. Anders Kompass has worked with the UN for over 30 years and is currently the director of field operations at the UN human rights office in Geneva.
He has however chosen to resign, giving the reason for his resignation as complete impunity of those responsible for the crimes. He spoke to the humanitarian news agency IRIN and addressed his departure thus;
“The complete impunity for those who have been found to have, in various degrees, abused their authority, together with the unwillingness of the hierarchy to express any regrets for the way they acted towards me”.
“This makes it impossible for me to keep working there.”
His resignation will take effect from August and according to what Hillel Neuer, executive director of the monitoring group UN Watch told AFP news agency, he is now seen by many as “a hero for trying to protect abused children, in contrast to other UN officials”.