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UNICEF condemns the re-recruitment of child soldiers and killing of a child in Central African Republic

YAOUNDE/BANGUI/GENEVA, 10 May 2013 – UNICEF condemns in the strongest possible terms the re-recruitment and the killing of a 17-year-old boy.

On 24 April, the 17-year-old and a 19-year-old* were ordered by a Seleka officer known as the Colonel to steal a vehicle in a Bangui neighborhood. A crowd gathered at the scene and they were stoned to death by a mob while the Colonel leading the attempt theft fled the scene.

The two killed were demobilized from the Convention of Patriots for Justice and Peace (CPJP) rebel movement and part of a group of 64 children and youths associated with armed groups moved to Bangui in December 2012 when fighting intensified. Many were placed with foster families and some were re-recruited after the Seleka took over the capital in March.

“We wish to express our sympathy to the families of the two young people, one of whom was a child, and condemn the actions that led to this tragedy,” said UNICEF CAR Representative Souleymane Diabate. “We call for urgent efforts to protect children affected by conflict, request the immediate release of all children associated with armed groups. Action must be taken against those who are recruiting and using children to commit crimes.”

UNICEF is engaging with all parties to protect the rights of children in armed conflict in CAR. UNICEF is working intensively to halt the recruitment of children and to support their release and reunification with their families and communities.

All children have the right to be protected from violence. The recruitment and use of children in armed conflict is one of the six grave children’s rights violations according to Security Council Resolution 1612 and those who commit such crimes against children must be held accountable.

*Names withheld to protect the identities of the families.

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About Security Council Resolution 1612
The United Nations Security Council has been involved by issues related to children affected by armed conflict since 1999. In 2005, the Security Council requested in Resolution 1612 the UN Secretary-General to establish a monitoring and reporting mechanism (MRM), managed by country-based task forces co-led by UNICEF and the highest UN representative in the country, to provide timely and reliable information on six grave children’s rights violations: the recruitment or use of children by armed groups and armed forces, killing and maiming of children, rape and other sexual violence, abduction, attacks on schools and hospitals, and denial of humanitarian access.

The removal of children from armed groups in the Central African Republic is part of efforts by a UN task force, mandated by the UN Security Council that releases and rehabilitates children affected by armed groups. To date, three armed groups, including the Convention of Patriots for Justice and Peace (CPJP), have signed an action plan to prevent and to end these violations.

About UNICEF
UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org

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For more information, please contact:
Linda Tom, Communication Specialist,
UNICEF Central African Republic,
Cell: +237 90077953
Email: ltom@unicef.org

Marixie Mercado, UNICEF Geneva,
Tel.: +41 79 756 7703;
Email: mmercado@unicef.org

 

 
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