About 10,000 children are still fighting alongside armed groups. Central African Democracy More than a decade after the civil war began, the government said on Monday.

Children are being recruited as fighters, spies, messengers, cooks and even sex slaves, Family and Gender Minister Marth Karima said in a statement. He said that while 15,000 children have escaped from rebel forces, many are traumatized and find it difficult to return to normal life.

The mineral-rich but impoverished country has been in conflict since 2013, when Muslim-majority Seleka rebels seized power and forced The then President Francois Boziz The mostly Christian militias from the office retaliated, also targeting civilians.

The United Nations says the Central African Republic is facing a humanitarian crisis with 2.4 million people

The United Nations, which has a peacekeeping mission in the country, estimates that the fighting has killed thousands and displaced more than a million people, or a fifth of the population. In 2019, a peace agreement was reached between the government and 14 armed groups, but fighting continues.


The Central African Republic reports that around 10,000 children are still fighting alongside armed groups in the country. (Fox News Digital)

The United Nations is working to prevent children from joining armed groups and to facilitate reintegration into society for those released. It has created training programs for them to take up mechanics, masons, carpenters or other professions.

Some former child soldiers said Associated Press That his painful experiences had forced him to become an ambassador of peace.

“I took up arms because Celica was killed by mother and father,” said Arsene, who insisted on using only his first name because of the sensitivity of the situation. He said he was recruited by a Christian rebel group when he was 14 years old. After three years of fighting, he now tells the youth not to join rebel groups.

Usman, another former child soldier, said joining the rebels ruined his life and that of those around him. “What we did is indescribable,” he said.

The Dani Negraso Foundation, a local civil society group, called on the government to speed up the peace process to protect child soldiers.

“They may have fought yesterday, but they can still campaign for peace today,” said Nigraso, head of the foundation.

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