Tag Archives: UNICEF

Children At War In Africa

There are about 6,000 child soldiers fighting in Darfur as the Sudan continues its brutal campaign against inhabitants of that devastated region. Over two million children in the region have been impacted by fighting in one way or another, but many have wound up as soldiers carrying out the murderous orders of adults. Ted Chaiban of UNICEF, emphasized the gravity of the problem by noting every army in the region is drawing upon children to fight their battles. “All of the armed factions and groups in Darfur have used children. The number of children(soldiers)that we estimate exist in Sudan is 8,000 children. Of the 8,000 children we estimated that 6,000 children are carrying weapons.”

He discussed the impact on these children of spending months, if not years in the presence of soldiers who encourage them to kill and mutilate civilians. Given the inability of any outside group to enforce a cease fire the prospect for these children is not bright.

Let The Children Go Says UN To Congo Rebels!

The United Nations has urged rebel militias in the Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC) to immediately free their children soldiers and put a halt to further recruitment. Kemal Saiki, speaking for the UN emphasized all rebel forces has signed an agreement in January but they were not abiding to pledges given at that time. He pleaded with them to “put an immediate end to child recruitment and to liberate all those child soldiers active in their ranks.” He termed the recruitment of a child under 15 to constitute a “war crime.” UNICEF sources said that warring militias had recruited between 2,000 and 3,000 youths between the ages of 12 and 18 in eastern sections of the country.

The UN estimates the ongoing conflict in the Congo has separated about seven percent of children from their parents and displaced at least 500,000 people. Each day people die as a result of conflicts in the Congo which have been raging for years without any significant outcry from the world.