AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC - The tragedy of child soldiers continues, forced to kill and sexually exploited

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Bangui (Agenzia Fides) - About 2,500 children have been recruited for armed conflict both by the Séléka Rebel Alliance troups, which already control 75% of the country, and forces of the Government of the Central African Republic. This is what is said in a statement made by the head of UNICEF in Bangui to the African digital newspaper Many of these children, aged between 3 and 18, come from the weaker sections of the country. The males are forced to fight, carry military equipment or act as messengers; girls instead have to cook or are sexually exploited. According to these statements, 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 who, poor and abandoned to their fate, are even more vulnerable. The rebels kidnapped children who have lost their parents and become an even easier prey. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 10/01/2013)