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French prosecutors want Central Africa child abuse case dismissed: source

PARIS (Reuters) - French prosecutors have asked for an investigation into alleged child sex abuse by French soldiers in the Central African Republic to be dropped, a judicial source has said.

France intervened in its former colony in 2013 to stem violence between Christian militias and largely Muslim Seleka rebels who had seized power. It withdrew most of its 2,000 troops last year, handing over to U.N. peacekeepers.

The initial investigation was opened more than two years ago after the Paris prosecutor decided to look into the matter following written consultation with the author of a United Nations report, which first raised the issue of alleged abuse between December 2013 and June 2014.

Investigating judges will now rule on whether to take the case to trial, the source said late on Tuesday. Despite questioning six soldiers, nobody has been placed under formal investigation, which suggests the case is unlikely to move to trial.

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(Reporting by Gerard Bon; writing by John Irish)

 
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