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There are currently three investigations under way into allegations that French troops in the country sexually abused children, but the latest case does not relate to sexual acts, a ministry source said, without giving further details.
The five are accused of physically abusing two Central Africans at a military outpost in the capital Bangui in 2014, according to the Ouest-France newspaper.
“In view of the gravity of the facts, the five soldiers have been suspended,” the ministry said, adding: “Simultaneously disciplinary action has been launched… as a precursor to their eviction from the military.”
France launched the Sangaris military operation in 2013 in its desperately poor and chronically restive former colony after the outbreak of inter-communal violence between Muslim and Christian militias that has killed thousands.
The mission is due to end in December this year, after a progressive draw-down.