More Children Abused in Mozambique's Armed Conflict - UN

United Nations officials have received increasing reports of the use of children in armed groups and violations, including abduction and sexual violence by militant Islamist groups in Mozambique's Cabo Delgado region. In a part of the territory of northern Mozambique controlled by the militants, officials from the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) said that thousands of children are at risk. Despite humanitarian access improving gradually in Cabo Delgado, no abducted children have been released.

"As areas previously occupied by Al-Shabaab [the name locals use to describe the militants] become accessible, unverified video material secured by armed forces in an abandoned training camp, shows abducted children as young as five years old handling weapons and being indoctrinated to fight," UNICEF spokesperson James Elder has said.

The Cabo Delgado province, the epicentre of the insurgency, has seen the displacement of more than 800,000 people, the killing of more than 2,500 civilians and the threat of losing billions in gas projects run by multinational companies in the region.

InFocus

(File photo).

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