11 January 2013

Central African Republic: Seleka Rebels and Army Using Child Soldiers

Bangui — The Séléka Rebel Alliance troupes, who already control over 75% of the nation, and forces of the government of the Central African republic, have recruited about 2,500 children as child soldiers.

This is according to a statement made by the head of UNICEF in Bangui to the African digital newspaper Afrik.com. Most of these children, aged between 3 and 18, come from the weaker sections of the country. The boys are forced into battlefields, carry military equipment or act as messengers; while girls cook and are used as sex objects.

According to the statement, the recruitment of young soldiers dates back to long before the outbreak of the current conflict in mid-December 2012. The situation of street children is particularly worrying most of who are orphans who wallow in poverty and are abandoned, which leaves them most vulnerable to kidnap and recruitment.

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