UNICEF said today that it had received credible reports that rebel groups and pro-government militias are increasingly recruiting and involving children in armed conflict in the Central African Republic (CAR).
UNICEF calls for the immediate cessation of child recruitment by all armed groups in the CAR and urges all parties to protect children against the harmful impact of, and their involvement in, armed conflict in the country.
“A number of rebel groups and various pro-government militias have become more active in recent weeks in the capital city of Bangui and across the country,” said Souleymane Diabate, UNICEF Representative for CAR. “Reliable sources have informed us that children are newly being recruited among their ranks. These reports are of serious concern.”
“Our team on the ground is working with partners to monitor, verify, and respond to grave violations of child rights, including recruitment into armed groups. Those at greater risk are children who have lost their homes, are separated from their families or were formerly associated with armed groups,” added Mr. Diabate.
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