CAR armed groups promise to release child soldiers - Unicef

2015-05-05 20:26
A young Sudan People's Liberation Army child soldier holds a gun during the demobilisation of soldiers at Rumbek , sourthern Sudan. (Sayyid Azim, AP)

A young Sudan People's Liberation Army child soldier holds a gun during the demobilisation of soldiers at Rumbek , sourthern Sudan. (Sayyid Azim, AP)

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Cape Town - The leaders of ten armed groups in the Central African Republic pledged to release all child soldiers and stop recruiting boys and girls, UN children's fund Unicef said on Tuesday.

Up to 10 000 children belong to armed groups in the war-torn nation which is rich in diamonds, gold and uranium, according to Unicef. They work as soldiers, sex slaves, cooks, messengers and carry ammunition.

CAR has been extremely volatile since Muslim Seleka rebels overthrew president Francois Bozize, a Christian, in March 2013, followed by more than 18 months of sectarian violence.

Thousands of people have been killed and about a million displaced as a result of the ethno-religious conflict.

"The Central African Republic is one of the worst places in the world to be a child," said Unicef CAR representative Mohamed Malick Fall.

Leaders of Muslim Seleka and Christian anti-Balaka rebels as well as from eight associated groups signed the agreement and promised to allow Unicef access to monitor areas under their control.

Read more on:    unicef  |  central african republic  |  central africa

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