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Oxfam boss to be summoned over S. Sudan sexual abuse scandal

The chief executive of Oxfam and other senior figures in the organization will appear before UK parliament next week over sexual abuse allegations in South Sudan.

According to multiple media reports, the charity has also been accused of cover-up of claims by its staff in the Caribbean nation of Haiti.

In South Sudan, a survey conducted recently shows that seven percent of staff – four people – witnessed or experienced rape or attempted rape involving colleagues.

It adds that 120 staff across three countries found between 11 and 14% said they witnessed or experienced sexual assault.

UK’s cross-party International Development Select Committee called a special hearing for Tuesday next week to grill Oxfam officials and civil servants about what they knew and what action they took.

Oxfam chief executive Mark Goldring is expected to fight for his job before the committee of MPs and answer all the claims.

“We want him to go to Parliament and answer these questions himself, and then we can gauge if he is fit for purpose,” said Tory MP Nigel Evans, a member of the Commons committee.

Oxfam is working in South Sudan, delivering humanitarian aid, including clean water, hygiene facilities, food, fuel and income support.

On Monday, the Reuters reported that the deputy head of Oxfam Penny Lawrence resigned over what she said was the British charity’s failure to adequately respond to past allegations of sexual misconduct by some of its staff in Haiti and Chad.

Oxfam was under threat of losing its British government funding over sexual misconduct allegations first reported by the Times newspaper last week.

Aid minister Penny Mordaunt threatened on Sunday to withdraw government funding from Oxfam unless it gave the full facts about events in Haiti.

Oxfam on Tuesday was reeling after fresh claims of sexual assault and cover-up in South Sudan.

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