Archbishop Tutu quits Oxfam role over charity's sex scandal

Christian charity Cafod sacks former Oxfam employee linked to Haiti sexual exploitation scandal

Christian charity Cafod sacks former Oxfam employee linked to Haiti sexual exploitation scandal

Archbishop Desmond Tutu said he was "saddened by the impact of the allegations on the many thousands of good people who have supported Oxfam's righteous work".

The 86-year-old Mr Tutu rarely makes public statements because of health problems.

Aviol Fleurant, Haiti's minister of planning and external cooperation, said Oxfam officials had been summoned to meet with his ministry staff on Thursday to explain the sexual misconduct accusations allegedly perpetrated by the charity's employees in the wake of the devastating 2010 natural disaster.

Archbishop Emeritus Tutu has retired from public life, and is therefore withdrawing from his public commitments.

The scandal has undermined Oxfam's global prestige, with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Hollywood star Minnie Driver, and Senegalese singer Baaba Maal resigning from their role as ambassadors of the organisation.

"He [Tutu] has instructed his office to write to Oxfam International to inform them of his retirement as a global ambassador‚" the statement concludes.

Senegalese singer Baaba Maal and British actress Minnie Driver have also quit as Oxfam ambassadors after the scandal erupted early this month.

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The scandal already caused the resignation of the charity's deputy chief executive Penny Lawrence, who said she took "full responsibility" for the alleged use of prostitutes by senior staff in Haiti and on a previous placement in Chad.

In his first response to allegations over his conduct, Roland Van Hauwermeiren said in an open letter that he is no longer speaking to his family.

The scandal has shaken the aid sector, with Britain and the European Union reviewing Oxfam's funding.

The atmosphere of chaos swirling around Oxfam also deepened as the organisation admitted a "serious error" in rehiring one of those accused of sexual misconduct as a consultant in Ethiopia. I am a man of flesh and blood and I have made mistakes (not easy to admit) and I am DEEPLY ASHAMED.

Van Hauwemeiren has been among a number of employees sacked in 2011 over sexual misconduct while delivering aid to Haiti; but he was re-hired by the same charity in Ethiopia.

Hiring the man "even in an emergency as a short-term consultant" was a "serious error and should never have happened", it continued.

"We are now checking whether there were any issues in Ethiopia while he was there".

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