Militia releases abducted children in CAR

Militia frees a group of captive children after a UN peace-deal though, violence increases in CAR

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Last year, UNICEF helped to get more than 2,800 children released by armed factions

The Christian anti-Balaka militia in the Central African Republic, released 163 abducted children on Friday.

The release came after a pledge made as part of a UN-brokered agreement, a UN agency said.  

The freed children are among the 6,000 enslaved by the militia and forced to do domestic work such as cooking or cleaning, some are also used as child soldiers.   

"This release is a sign that the process of implementing the commitment made by the leaders of these groups, as a part of the peace and reconciliation process, is on track," said Mohamed Malick Fall from UN's children's agency UNICEF. The agency played a key role in facilitating the children's release in the northern town of Batangafo.

Fall added that, hundreds of other children were expected to be released before the end of this year. In May, more than 350 children were released by the militia.  

Following the collapse of state authority, a weak and fragile transitional government took over power, resulting in parts of the CAR being left at the mercy of different militia groups.

Clashes between rival militias continues

Violence in the Central African Republic has increased in recent days, following a period of relative calm since the UN-brokered peace negotiation in May.

Clashes between rival militias erupted last week in the central region of Bambari, resulting in 10 people being killed, after Christian anti-Balakas beheaded a Muslim youth.  

United Nations Refugee Agency, UNHCR, said several thousand people had been displaced from their homes by the renewed clashes.

Currently 2.7 million people - more than half the CAR’s population - are reported to still be in dire need of aid, while 1.5 million people are suffering from food deprivation, according to reports by the UN.



TRTWorld and agencies