Central African Republic reports 10,000 children still fighting with militant groups

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About 10,000 children are still fighting alongside equipped groups successful Central African Republic much than a decade aft civilian warfare collapsed out, nan authorities said Monday.

Marthe Kirima, nan curate for family and gender, said successful a connection that children are still being recruited arsenic fighters, spies, messengers, cooks and moreover utilized arsenic activity slaves. While 15,000 children person escaped from rebel forces, she said, galore are traumatized and find it difficult to return to normal life.

The mineral-rich but impoverished federation has had conflict since 2013, erstwhile predominantly Muslim Seleka rebels seized powerfulness and forced then-President Francois Bozize from office. Mostly Christian militias fought back, besides targeting civilians.

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC FACES HUMANITARIAN CRISIS WITH 2.4M PEOPLE IN NEED OF AID, UN SAYS

The United Nations, which has a peacekeeping ngo successful nan country, estimates nan fighting has killed thousands and displaced complete a cardinal people, aliases one-fifth of nan population. In 2019, a bid woody was reached betwixt nan authorities and 14 equipped groups, but fighting continues.

The U.N. is trying to forestall children from joining equipped groups and make it easier for those released to reintegrate into society. It has created training programs for them to go mechanics, masons, carpenters aliases return up different professions.

Some erstwhile kid soldiers told The Associated Press that their harrowing experiences had pushed them to go bid ambassadors.

"I took up arms because Seleka killed by mother and father," said Arsene, who insisted connected only his first sanction owed to nan sensitivity of nan situation. He said a Christian rebel group recruited him erstwhile he was 14. After 3 years of fighting, he now tells young group not to subordinate rebel groups.

Ousmane, different erstwhile kid soldier, said that joining nan rebels ruined his life and that of those astir him. "What we did is indescribable," he said.

The Dany Ngarasso Foundation, a section civilian nine group, called connected nan authorities to accelerate nan bid process to protect kid soldiers.

"They whitethorn person fought yesterday, but they tin still run for bid today," instauration caput Ngarasso said.