Saturday, 11 May 2013

News Release: UNICEF Condemns Re-recruitment Of Child Soldiers In Central African Republic

UNICEF condemns in the strongest possible terms the re-recruitment and the killing of a 17-year-old boy.*

On 24 April, the 17-year-old and a 19-year-old* were ordered by a Seleka officer known as the Colonel to steal a vehicle in a Bangui neighborhood. A crowd gathered at the scene and they were stoned to death by a mob while the Colonel leading the attempt theft fled the scene.

The two killed were demobilized from the Convention of Patriots for Justice and Peace (CPJP) rebel movement and part of a group of 64 children and youths associated with armed groups moved to Bangui in December 2012 when fighting intensified. Many were placed with foster families and some were re-recruited after the Seleka took over the capital in March. 

“We wish to express our sympathy to the families of the two young people, one of whom was a child, and condemn the actions that led to this tragedy,” said UNICEF CAR Representative Souleymane Diabate. “We call for urgent efforts to protect children affected by conflict, request the immediate release of all children associated with armed groups. Action must be taken against those who are recruiting and using children to commit crimes.” 

UNICEF is engaging with all parties to protect the rights of children in armed conflict in CAR. UNICEF is working intensively to halt the recruitment of children and to support their release and reunification with their families and communities.

All children have the right to be protected from violence. The recruitment and use of children in armed conflict is one of the six grave children’s rights violations according to Security Council Resolution 1612 and those who commit such crimes against children must be held accountable. 

(* Names withheld to protect the identities of the families.)

 Released By UNICEF Press Centre

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