An investigation into child abuse allegations against French soldiers stationed in the Central African Republic is being carried out by a prosecutor in France, it has emerged.
The revelation came after a report in The Guardian claiming that a UN aid worker had been suspended for leaking an internal report to prosecutors detailing troops' abuse of children in the country.
Questioned about the report, a Justice Ministry spokesman said an investigation had been opened in July last year, and said it was "ongoing". He declined to comment further.
According to The Guardian, the confidential document outlined the sexual exploitation of children as young as nine by French soldiers residing in the African nation as part of a peacekeeping mission.
The UN has now said it conducted an investigation into the claims in 2014, and accused the member of staff of breaking protocol and "endangering victims and witnesses" by giving an unedited version of the report to French authorities before giving it to UN management.