Caj News Africa
Monday January 16, 2017
CHILDREN are caught up in the conflict pitting Somalia government forces, terrorist groups and rebels all blamed for the recruitment, abduction, maiming and killing of minors.
Terror groups Al-Shabaab and Ahl al-Sunna wal-Jama‘a, clan-based militias and the National Army are cited as the worst perpetrators.The United Nations Security Council said all parties to the decades-long conflict had over the past year killed hundreds of children while over 200 minors were either abducted or recruited into the fighting.
Given the complexity of identifying perpetrators, grave violations go unreported.
The majority of violations against children were documented in 2012 when the Somali National Army and African Union soldiers conducted major joint military operations against Al-Shabaab.
A downward trend was observed in 2013 and 2014, which was largely attributable to the challenges faced by the country task force in gaining access for the purpose of monitoring and reporting.
Against the background of military campaigns against Al-Shabaab, violations increased again in 2015 and spiked during 2016, exceeding the total numbers for 2013 and 2014 and approaching those of 2015.
“Grave violations against children were carried out with impunity,” a UN official said.
Apart from insecurity, children are worst affected by drought.