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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Child Soldiers Continue to be Recruted in Central African Republic

The use of child soldiers in armed conflict plagues our global society, as thousands of children continue to be recruited into armed conflict by both government forces and armed rebel groups in spite global efforts to combat the continued use of children. UNICEF estimates there are some 300,000 child soldiers actively fighting in at least 30 countries across the globe with the majority, an estimated 200,000 in Africa.

Unfortunately on such African country where the use of child soldiers is not a new topic, is in the Central African Republic (CAR). Child soldiers were recruited by government and opposition forces during armed conflict in the country from 2001 to 2003 during a coup against President Ange-Félix Patassé in support of General François Bozizé, who seized bower in March 2003 and then subsequently won the May 2005. The opposition Popular Army for the Restoration of the Republic and Democracy (APRD) and the Union of Democratic Forces (UFDR) who used utilized child soldiers in 2007 expressed willingness to demobilize their child soldiers, but only the UFDR had officially entered a disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) process by October 2007. Additionally armed groups from neighboring countries extensively recruited child soldiers. They then made subsequent releases of child soldiers for rehabilitation in the next two years following the agreement with the UN.

Previously published by Cassandra Clifford, please continue reading on the Foreign Policy Association's Children's blog: http://children.foreignpolicyblogs.com/2011/05/05/child-soldiers-continue-to-be-recruted-in-central-african-republic/

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