Central African Republic: CAR Rebels to Stop Recruitment of Children

Bangui — REBEL Muslim groups in the Central African Republic (CAR) have pledged to stop recruiting children and prevent grave violations against the youngsters.

This is part of a commitment by the militia to the peace process in the Central African country.

The Popular Front for the Renaissance of the CAR (FPRC) is the latest sect to sign an action plan with the United Nations (UN) to end recruitment and abuse of children.

The plan addresses the recruitment, killing, maiming, rape and other forms of sexual violence as well as attacks on schools and hospitals.

FPRC's pledge is the second signed by a member of the Islamist ex-Seleka coalition.

The Patriotic Movement for the CAR (MPC) signed the action plan with the UN in May 2018.

Virginia Gamba, the UN envoy for Children and Armed Conflict, welcomed the latest signing and asked for its immediate implementation.

"I call on all armed groups in CAR to immediately end and prevent all grave violations against children, release children from their ranks and when appropriate, adopt action plans with the UN," she added.

Armed groups have recruited an estimated 14 000 children since the conflict broke out in 2012.

Then, Muslim extremists seized power from President Francois Boazize.

The radicals have been vying for authority with the predominantly Christian anti-Balaka militias.

President Faustin-Archange Touadéra's government and the rebel groups signed a peace deal in February but violations persist.

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