100s of Mali kids forced into army – NGO

2012-08-06 13:55
(Shutterstock)

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Bamako - Hundreds of children have been forced into the ranks of armed groups in northern Mali, some serving as soldiers and others used as sex slaves, rights campaigners told reporters Sunday.

"We have several hundred children aged between nine and 17 years old within the ranks of the armed groups including the Islamists who control northern Mali," said Mamoud Lamine Cisse, president of a Malian child rights coalition.

"After investigations we have corroborating information that these children are used as soldiers, minesweepers, scouts, spies, messengers, look-outs, cooks and sexual slaves in the case of young girls," Cisse told journalists.

The children were mostly from Mali, Senegal and Niger, he added.

"We appeal to sub-regional and international organisations to pay particular attention to this phenomenon, because recruitment of children is currently taking place in northern Mali," Cisse added.

The Malian Coalition of Child Rights is a grouping of 78 Malian and international associations.

The Islamists who have controlled the vast desert north of Mali for four months, recently admitted to AFP to recruiting children of "all ages" throughout the Sahel "to fight in the name of God".

Once seen as one of west Africa's most stable democracies, in just a few months Mali has been split in two and is struggling to rebuild a strong central government.

Political and security vacuum

The crisis erupted when Tuareg rebels in January launched a rebellion in the north pressing for an independent homeland, which swiftly overwhelmed the nation's army.

Angry soldiers launched a coup on 22 March, but in the political and security vacuum, the north became easy prey and fell to rebel groups in a matter of days.

The Tuareg rebels have since been completely sidelined by armed jihadist groups linked to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (Aqim).

The Islamists have enforced strict sharia law, whipping smokers and drinkers and last week stoning an unmarried couple to death.

In the city of Gao on Sunday, residents intervened to prevent their Islamist rulers from chopping off the hand of a thief.

The International Criminal Court in July launched a preliminary inquiry into the events in Mali.

They were acting upon a request from the embattled interim authorities who allege war crimes including rapes, civilian massacres and use of child soldiers.

Read more on:    aqim  |  al-qaeda  |  mali  |  west africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Gordons Bay - 18:30 PM
    Road name: R44 Faure Marine Drive Both Ways
    ROAD CLOSED at Suikerbossie Drive due to roadworks until 5am - traffic diverted - expect delays
  • Wednesday Kuils River - 18:01 PM
    Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound
    ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit - expect delays
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Pre-order the Xbox One

Get this all-in-one entertainment system with live TV, movies, social networking and gaming. Pre-order now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Torch 9810

The BlackBerry Torch 9810 gives you the powerful combination of...

From R2790.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The ingredients for today are communicating your original ideas in a creative and unique way that can make the right people look...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.