Kinshasa 17th August 2013 : 82 children, some as young as eight years old, have been rescued from an armed group, The UN mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo says
Children including 13 girls, had been forcibly recruited in the past six months by the Mai Mai Bakata Katanga militia, the UN peacekeeping mission in DR Congo (MONUSCO) said in a statement.
Forty of the rescued children have been reunited with their families, while the remaining are said to be receiving interim care.
Martin Kobler, head of MONUSCO, said: “We are extremely concerned by continued reports of active recruitment by Mai Mai Bakata Katanga and other armed groups in eastern DRC,” said Monusco head Martin Kobler.
“Children face unacceptable risks when they are recruited for military purposes. The recruitment of children, particularly those under 15 years of age, could constitute a war crime and those responsible must be held to account,” he added.
children, including 22 girls, have been removed from the militia since the beginning of the year, said Monusco.