A Parisian prosecutor says an investigation is under way into claims French soldiers in the Central African Republic sexually abused childrenreports the BBC.
France sent an initial 1,600 troops to the country in December 2013 after violence flared following a coup.
On Wednesday, the Guardian newspaper reported that a United Nations worker was suspended after leaking a report on abuses by French troops.
It says a UN report claimed children as young as nine were abused.
… A spokesman for France's Ministry of Defence said in a statement: "The defence ministry has taken and will take the necessary measures to allow the truth to be found.
"If the facts are proven, the strongest penalties will be imposed on those responsible for what would be an intolerable attack on soldiers' values."