Masseflugt af børn og unge mænd - vil ikke være børnesoldater
Titusinder er flygtet til DR Congos nabolande med den frygtede rebelgruppe M23 i hælene, som vil tvangsrekruttere dem - M23 gennemsøger systematisk landsbyerne i jagten på ny kanonføde til sin blodige kampagne mod civile.
KINSHASA, 16 August 2012 (IRIN): Thousands of children and young men are fleeing rebel-held areas of the DR Congo's eastern North Kivu Province to escape forced recruitment by the insurgents from the dreaded group M23, NGOs say.
"One day, five rebels of M23 stormed our town [Rugari, north of Goma, the capital of North Kivu]. They went to the chief asking him to show them all houses where they can find young men", said Barthelemy Schilogolo, head of local the NGO, Paix et Justice pour la Reconciliation, told IRIN, adding:
"The chief resisted, they tied him up and went on searching into houses until they arrested 36 children and took them away to train as fighters".
M23 - a group of former DR Congo national army (FARDC) soldiers who mutinied in April - is fighting government troops in North and South Kivu; the conflict has caused the displacement of close to half a million people.
A number of other local militias - known as Mai Mai - are involved in the conflict and have also been accused of human rights abuses.
Under pres for at rekruttere så mange børn som muligt
According to Schilogolo, M23 fighters are under pressure to increase recruitment.
"Every two days, commanders of M23 come from Bunagana [an M23-held town on the DR Congo-Uganda border] to Rugari for regular patrols to control how their fighters are keeping positions. I have witnessed areas where a front commander is forcefully picked up when he failed to show how many recruits he recruited," he said.
The NGO "World Vision" recently highlighted the issue, reporting that nearly 200 children had been forced to join the fighting.
The group says the majority of refugees - an estimated 57.000, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs - fleeing into neighbouring Rwanda and Uganda are children, with some reporting that they were fleeing recruitment into armed groups.
The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has also documented over 100 civilians forcibly recruited by M23 over the past four months, most of whom were young men aged 24 and under.
Begynd fra: "Auguy Sebisimbo was forcefully recruited alongside...."
Den er også gal i Mali - se
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