Children armed to fight UN peacekeepers

child soldiersFrom JEAN KASSONGO in Kinshasa, DRC
KINSHASA, (CAJ News) – REBEL groups in the Central African Republic are accused of distributing weapons to youth in order to continue their offensive in a city the United Nations has declared a “weapons-free zone.”
The offensive in the central Ippy, is an attempt by Popular Front for the rebel Renaissance of CAR (FPRC)  to close in on Bambari, in violation of the line set up by United Nations forces, which this past weekend thwarted rebels from taking over the city.
United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the CAR (MINUSCA), said verified information indicated youth had been supplied with arms to pursue the mission of the rebels.
“MINUSCA firmly condemns such maneuvers which, if implemented, would seriously endanger the lives of innocent populations and lead to further attacks on peacekeepers,” said Vladimir Monteiro, MINUSCA spokesperson.
He urged FPRC coalition commanders to immediately stop these acts and stressed they would bear full responsibility for any violence against the civilian population and UN forces.
“The mission urges the coalition commanders to withdraw from Ippy without delay and regain their initial positions.”
CAR has been in crisis since 2012 when mostly Muslim Seleka rebels opened a military campaign against the government of Francois Bozizé.
Their violent campaign has rendered the current government of Faustin-Archange Touadéra futile.
As many as 10 000 children have been used by armed groups involved in the conflict.
CAJ News

Short URL: http://cajnewsafrica.com/?p=18500

Posted by on Mar 3 2017. Filed under Africa & World, Exclusive, Featured, National, News, Regional. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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