UN team calls for end to use of children in conflict in Central African Republic
In a press statement issued today following the Working Group’s 31st meeting last month, the chair of the United Nations body urged all the groups to develop time-bound action plans on the removal of children armed groups, in line with the Council’s previous resolutions.
Specifically addressing the group known as the Armée Populaire pour la restauration de la République et de la Démocratie (APRD), the Working Group welcoming the removal of children from its ranks, urging it to ensure the “comprehensive and definitive release of all remaining children.”
Addressing the Union des Forces Démocratiques pour le Rassemblement (UFDR), the Front Démocratique du Peuple Centrafricain (FDPC) and the Mouvement des Libérateurs Centrafricains pour la Justice (MLJC), the Working Group voiced concern over ongoing recruitment of children and other violations against children and called upon the three groups to immediately cease the abuses enter into dialogue with the UN.
The Working Group also expressed concern over the lack of humanitarian access in areas under the control of the Convention des Patriotes pour la Justice et la Paix (CPJP) in the north-eastern part of the country, as well as persistent reports of recruitment and abuses of children.
The Working Group welcomed the announcement of a ceasefire by CPJP, and encouraged the faction to start dialogue with the Government with a view to signing the Libreville Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
It strongly condemned abuses against children committed against children by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), including recruitment, rape and other forms of sexual violence and abductions in the south-eastern and eastern areas of CAR.
Addressing the Government, the Working Group expressed serious concern over the recruitment and use of children by local self-defence militias and called upon the authorities to reiterate their prohibition of the practice, ensure the immediate and unconditional release of all children associated with those groups, and to deny support for militias that recruit and use children.
Source: UN News