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(From African Church Information Service - AAGM)
Byline: Geoffrey H. Kaiza
The use of minors in armed conflict has been a case for concern for years. Despite ratification of international conventions and protocols to contain the practice, the number of children in active combat around the world is as frightening as the experiences of those forcefully abducted to fight. Efforts to re-integrate former child soldiers into society hardly bear fruits, reports Geoffrey H. Kaiza.
With new lightweight weapons that are easy to fire, children are today more easily armed and recruited in active combat.
UNICEF statistics indicate that there are an estimated 300,000 child soldiers, including girls, in some 30 countries around the world.
In the past two decades, child soldiers have played roles in countries such as Angola, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Congo, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Iran, Sierra …