Fears over child soldiers

[Uganda] The UN Secretary General's Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy. [Date picture taken: 06/10/2006]
Radhika Coomaraswamy, the UN Secretary General's Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict (Vincent Mayanja/IRIN)

More child soldiers are to be demobilised in South Kivu Province, but concerns remain because some of those freed earlier have ended up in the national army, Radhika Coomaraswamy, special representative of the Secretary-General for children and armed conflict, has told a news conference in Kinshasa.

About 1,200 children have been released from various militias since January. However, any that have joined specially designated brigades within the national army will not be allowed to stay.

"The new Congolese army cannot afford to have children in its ranks and the integration process is a unique opportunity to identify and release them," she said.

At a transit centre in Masisi, she heard stories of grave human rights violations: "Sexual violence remains one of the most critical concerns in the DRC, devastating the lives of thousands of girls," she said.


This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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