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RP rebels use child soldiers—UN

by V. Uy Thursday, May. 27, 2010 at 11:39 PM

MANILA, Philippines—Three of the country’s rebel groups—Muslim extremist Abu Sayyaf, communist New People’s Army, and secessionist Moro Islamic Liberation Front—are among the world’s “persistent violators of children in armed conflicts,” the United Nations said.

RP rebels use child ...
cpp-npa-child-soldiers.jpg, image/jpeg, 432x324

The Philippines’ three insurgent groups are among 16 different armies and insurgent groups around the world that have recruited or used child soldiers for at least the past five years, the annual report of the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict said.

Radhika Coomaraswamy, the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, warned that “we still live in a world with those who would use children as spies, soldiers, and human shields.”

“The shifting nature of conflict has put many children on the front lines. Too often children become collateral damage during military operations. Every year the release of this report should give us pause. Let us remember that we must protect the most innocent and most vulnerable,” she added.

The other violators of international laws against the use of child soldiers were identified as Myanmar’s national army Tatmadaw Kyi, and the rebel Karenni Army and Karen National Liberation Army; the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN);

The national army of the Democratic Republic of Congo known as FARDC and the rebel Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP); Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), Nationalist and Integrationalist Front (FNI), the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), and various militias that are known as the Mai-Mai;

The pro-government militias in Darfur, Sudan and the southern-based Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA); and Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG).

The UN report also identified the groups which subjects minors to the most brutal violence, such as killings, maimings, and rapes and other sexual assaults.

At the same time, the report, which has been sent to the UN Security Council, said progress has been made with some groups which have recently signed action plans in which they aim to end the recruitment and use of child soldiers.

The MILF, the SPLA, and the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist have all signed such plans. Burundi has been removed from the annexes to the report following UN verification that all children associated with the National Liberation Forces (FNL) have been reunited with their families and that the group has ceased recruitment.

However, some groups have been named for the first time as recruiting or using children in armed conflict. These include the Afghan National Police, the rebel Convention of Patriots for Justice and Peace in the Central African Republic (CAR), and Somalia’s Hizbul Islam militia.

Somalia’s Al-Shabaab, an Islamist rebel force, and the TFG both stand accused of killing and maiming children in the Horn of Africa country.

Several groups involved in fighting in the eastern DRC were named as being responsible for rapes and other forms of sexual violence against children. They are the FARDC, LRA, FDLR, the Patriotic Resistance Forces in Ituri district (FRPI), the FNI, and the Mai-Mai.

The report lists several recommendations to the Security Council for consideration, including more vigorous measures against those groups and individuals who persistently commit grave violations against children. The Council will discuss the report at an open debate next month.

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NPA warrior with her baby

by V. Uy Thursday, May. 27, 2010 at 11:39 PM

NPA warrior with her...
cpp-npa-mother-with-baby.jpg, image/jpeg, 320x298

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Is she a minor? It looks like it.

by V. Uy Thursday, May. 27, 2010 at 11:39 PM

Is she a minor? It l...
cpp-npa-warrior--is-she-a-minor.jpg, image/jpeg, 278x320

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