APA

African Press Association
Central African Republic

CAR rebels recruit children as soldiers

from OMAN MBIKO in Bangui, Central African Republic
BANGUI – THE conflict in the Central African Republic (CAR) is exposing children to recruitment by rebel groups.

Around 3 000 children have reportedly been recruited.

It is reported that the armed militants fighting the government forces are offering the youngsters US$30 (R440) to join their ranks.

“Many (children) carry the scars and trauma from what they experience for life,” said Norwegian Refugee Council’s (NRC) country director, David Manan.

“It is a sad reminder of how we, as an international community, have failed to protect these young people, provide them with opportunities and hope for a better future.”

Almost 210 000 people are newly displaced as a result of the escalating conflict in CAR since mid-December 2020.

This brings the total number of displaced to 1,5 million, almost a third of the country’s total population.

Widespread violence and the severe lack of humanitarian aid affect displaced communities.

Insecurity combined with disruptions caused by armed groups along the main supply road between CAR and Cameroon is delaying the delivery of food and medicines to affected areas.

CAR plunged into anarchy in 2013 when militants overthrew Francois Bozize.

The elections that retained Faustin-Archange Touadéra as president last December escalated the tensions.

– CAJ News