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German Arms Go into Child Soldiers' Hands

Sunday, 16 February 2014 04:07

Michael D, one of the former soldiers, who is currently living in Berlin told the Voice of Russia that "we were mostly deployed for attacks. We were often the first to be sent into combat and had to dodge the flurry of bullets."

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Four child's rights organizations in the Mano River Union (MRU) basin, including the Defense for Children International Liberia (DCI-Liberia) have urged governments of member states to tackle cross-border child trafficking.

In a chat with this paper upon return to the country from Freetown, Sierra Leone, the Executive Director of DCI-Liberia, Foday Kawah, said cross-border child trafficking remains a post-conflict creeping menace that must be tackled quickly in the Mano River region.

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Freetown — On a street corner in downtown Freetown, Sierra Leone's capital city, 12-year-old Kaita sits with a friend on a peeling steel railing watching the headlights of motorbikes cruising through the otherwise silent streets.

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— It's been over a decade since the civil war ended in Sierra Leone. During the war, 50,000 people were killed and millions displaced. Child soldiers played a key role in the conflict, as rebels recruited them to pick up weapons, fight and be used as sex slaves and spies.

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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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By Claire O’Sullivan, Freetown, Sierra Leone

Five eager young boys, many not even in their teens, are gathered around Abdul Rahman Tholeey as he shows them how to weld a section of gate.

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Freetown — When the verdict against Liberia's former President Charles Taylor for war crimes in Sierra Leone is handed down on Thursday, it will be of no help to the many former combatants of the country's brutal civil war who have not been reintegrated into society.

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The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has assured the federal government of its unflinching support to fight trafficking in human beings from Nigeria to Europe.

Mrs. Sina Chuma-Mkandwire, ILO's Country Director for Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, the Gambia and liaison office for ECOWAS, disclosed this while presenting eight different publications on human trafficking and forced labour to the Ministry of Labour and Productivity.

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