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UN Condemns Recruitment Of Child Soldiers In Central African Republic

The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission (MINUSCA) in the Central African Republic popularly has condemned the continued recruitment of child soldiers by armed groups in the country.

Speaking during a press briefing, Vladimir Monteiro, the MINUSCA spokesperson revealed that there are 256 child soldiers within the ranks of Front populaire pour la renaissance de Centrafrique (FPRC) in Birao alone.

Among these are 94 girls, Monteiro said.

He stated  that there are another 10 child soldiers within the ranks of the anti-Balaka in Bria in the centre-east of the country.

These children,  Monteiro revealed, were recruited between 2016 and 2020 and they perform the duties of combatants, informants, messengers, cooks and carriers.

The UN official said the documentation of these recruitments was carried out by the MINUSCA unit for the protection of children from November 20 to December 3, 2020 adding that these constitute serious violations of the rights of minors.

Meanwhile, 48 hours after incidents that resulted in the death of some rebels of the Union for Peace in the Central African Republic (UPC) in Bambari, tension remains high between the national army and UPC rebel units based in the town.

Sources in Bambari told HumAngle last evening that in the night of Tuesday December 8 after the clashes (earlier reported by HumAngle), between the national army and UPC rebels led by Ali Darrassa, the mercenary of Chadian nationality has continued to reinforce his positions in Bambari.

The self-proclaimed general is reported to have brought in heavy reinforcements from Bokolobo and Bria in Upper Kotto.

The reinforcements came by pick-ups and motor bikes.

At the same time, heavily armed soldiers of the Central African Republic national army have also been arriving Bambari to reinforce their positions in the town and have been patrolling the town to reassure the traumatised people of their security.

It should be recalled that after the clashes of last Monday in Bambari, a town which the United Nations has declared to be arms-free, the Blue Helmets of the MINUSCA forces continue to ensure the protection of national institutions in the town.

The UN troops have also increased their patrols both in the day and at night.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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