African Union Soldiers
[Representational Image]Reuters File

Human Rights Watch report on Monday revealed that the African Union soldiers, stationed in war-wracked Somalia, raped refugees and traded food for sex.

"Some of the women who were raped said that the soldiers gave them food or money afterwards in an apparent attempt to frame the assault as transactional sex," Telegraph cited Human Rights Watch (HRW) report.

The soldiers traded the aids meant for the war survivors for sex, and raped girls as young as 12 years. The report was produced based on the statements from 21 women and girls.

At least 22,000 soldiers, deployed at various bases of African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM), have been allegedly taking advantage of Somali escapists from rural Somalia, coming at the bases for food and medicines.

The African troops, "relying on Somali intermediaries, have used a range of tactics, including humanitarian aid, to coerce vulnerable women and girls into sexual activity. They have also raped or otherwise sexually assaulted women who were seeking medical assistance or water at AMISOM bases," the report said.

The soldiers are also said to have physically tortured the women and several of the victims have contracted sexually transmitted diseases.

"Several women said that the soldiers refused to wear condoms and that they had caught sexually transmitted infections as a result. Several also described being slapped and beaten by the soldiers with whom they had sex," the report said.

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