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CAR's child soldiers struggle to readapt

Wednesday, 31 July 2013 16:44

Bangui - Smiling from the back of a pick-up truck careering through Bangui, a child no older than ten clutches a rifle, struggling to stay upright in his freshly-pressed uniform.

It's a familiar scene in the Central African capital, where demobilised child soldiers hoping to find their families and start a different kind of life regularly arrive at specialist centres run by western charities.

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A top United Nations official today expressed disappointment after new reports of child recruitment by armed groups in the Central African Republic (CAR) that had previously made commitments to stop this practice.
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(Newsroom America) -- More than 6,000 child soldiers may now be involved in the conflict in the Central African Republic (CAR), with their numbers growing as fighting pits community against community in clashes that have taken on increasingly sectarian overtones.

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According to the UNO, there are up to six thousand child soldiers in operation in the Central African Republic, where half the population has been seriously affected by the fighting, where a "mega-tragedy" is forecast and to which the international community has donated 6 per cent of the funds needed by humanitarian agencies.
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Beah, who was removed from the army after a couple of years and placed in a rehabilitation home with UNICEF help, says not enough is being done by governments to help the tens of thousands of child conscripts in militias and armies.

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JOHANNESBURG — Ishmael Beah had been orphaned and was fleeing war in his native Sierra Leone when he went to a military base seeking safety. Instead, soldiers gave the teenager a weapon and forced him to serve in one of Africa's most brutal conflicts.
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Libya, North Korea, Iran and Cuba are among 17 countries worldwide that have done little to combat human trafficking over the past year, according to a State Department report released Tuesday, down from the 23 nations identified a year ago

In its annual Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP), the department said the 17 countries failed to meet minimum international standards to curb trafficking and could face U.S.

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The Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony has kidnapped almost 600 children over the past three years forcing some of them to kill each other and work as sex slaves, a UN report has found.
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The Christian Science Monitor 

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The growing violence and chaos in the Central African Republic (CAR) has returned to the front pages of the media in recent weeks.

The Seleka (“Alliance”), a group of numerous different militia groups, mostly from the north of the country, which is predominantly Muslim, launched a campaign in December 2012 to overthrow the government of Francoise Bozize. They seized Bangui in March 2013.

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A French soldier and an African Union peacekeeper from Burundi participate in a joint patrol, in the Galabadja district of Bangui, Central African Republic, on Saturday, January 4. While insecurity continued to reign in many areas of the city, certain neighborhoods were tentatively reopening and some residents returning, at least during daylight hours.
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