SOMALIA: 908 incidents of Child Recruitment and use of children in armed conflict in Somalia

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Nairobi (RBC) All armed actors continue to recruit and use children in military operations, according to various reports released by international agencies.

The latest report by the UN Monitoring Group says that Al-Shabaab has been the most flagrant violator of the prohibition on using children in armed conflict. In 2013, the United Nations documented and verified 908 incidents of recruitment and use of children by Al-Shabaab.

Association with Al-Shabaab also left children more vulnerable to other violations of international law, including in the context of arrest and detention operations by State security forces.

Although the army expanded its efforts to vet personnel, its recruitment and use of children in armed conflict continued, in particular at the district level and in the context of checkpoint operations and other support functions. Children were also recruited and used by army-allied militias.

The reports reveals that in June 2014, the Secretary-General added Ahlu Sunna wal Jama’a to his listing of Al-Shabaab and the national army as parties that recruited and used children during 2013. In addition, Ras Kamboni forces and other clan and freelance/business militias also deployed children in their ranks. The escalation of inter-clan conflict saw incidents of recruitment of children rise, including in Lower Shabelle, Middle Shabelle and parts of Sool and Sanaag.

The Monitoring Group received reports of recruitment of children in support of armed actors in Somalia from both inside and outside the country. Efforts to reduce the number of children associated with armed groups were strengthened by government endorsement in February 2014 of a standard operating procedure for the reception and handover of children separated from armed groups.

In June 2014, AMISOM adopted its own standard operating procedure for the handling of all persons detained by the Mission, further clarifying the procedures and principles by which, among other things, children can be lawfully detained and subsequently cared for by the appropriate authorities.

Source: raxanreeb

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