Somali kids recruited for combat

2011-07-20 14:24
Nairobi - Children in drought-struck Somalia are suffering from a range of war crimes including systematic recruitment by Islamist insurgents, Amnesty International said on Wednesday.

The London-based rights group urged international action to protect the rights of children in war-torn Somalia, where tens of thousands are fleeing extreme drought.

Children are being "recruited as child soldiers, denied access to education and killed or injured in indiscriminate attacks," Amnesty said in a report.

Islamist extremists, including Shabaab rebels who pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda last year, control swathes of southern Somalia and parts of its capital.

"As a child in Somalia, you risk death all the time," said Michelle Kagari, Amnesty's deputy director for Africa.

Children are punished by Shabaab if they are caught listening to music or even for just wearing the "wrong clothes", Kagari added.

However, Amnesty also noted that Somalia's transitional government is on a UN "list of shame" for recruiting, using, killing and maiming children in armed conflict.

"It has committed to respect children's rights but has yet to adopt any concrete measures to end the use of children by forces fighting on its side," the report added.

A never-ending conflict

While some children are lured to fight by the promise of money or mobile telephones, Shabaab rebels are also using "increasingly threatening recruitment methods", including raiding schools and abduction.

Most children taken to fight appear to be aged between 12 and 18 years old, but refugees told Amnesty that children as young as eight have been recruited.

While boys are mainly recruited to fight, girls are taken to be cooks, cleaners or to carry weapons for the fighters, Amnesty added.

Some girls are forced into marriage with gunmen, the report added, which is based on testimonies from over 200 Somali refugees.

Many cited the recruitment of child soldiers as a reason for fleeing southern and central Somalia.

"This is a never-ending conflict, where children are experiencing unimaginable horrors on a daily basis," Kagari added.

- SAPA
Read more on:    al-shabaab  |  somalia  |  east africa  |  africa drought
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
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 

Goalkeeper saves five penalties with his FACE!

Nothing, and we mean nothing, will keep goalkeeper Scott Stirling from stopping the ball!

 
 

Men24.com

Hottie of the day: Jesselyn
This invention makes farts smell like chocolate!
11 things men don’t know about their clothes
Hilarious mortal kombat elevator prank!

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

Save up to 60% on toys!

Don’t miss out on this hot offer, save up to 60% on toys. While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. 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

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Grandiose ideas and plans can trip you up today. Keep things in context and take one step at a time....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.