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Somalia, UN sign deal to end child recruitment
Press TV
Tuesday, August 07, 2012

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Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government and the United Nations have signed an action plan to end the country’s recruitment of young children into the Army, Press TV reports.

In the case of the country’s full obedience to the terms of the plan, it is expected that Mogadishu be removed from the UN black list of the countries where young children are frequently recruited into the Army and are used in armed conflicts at very early ages.

“Our government is committed to protect the children of Somalia; I truly believe, by doing so, we are investing in the future of this country.” Said Hussein Arab Isse, Somalia’s defense minister.Representatives of the UN, Somalia’s Defense Ministry, and the country’s military signed the agreement in Mogadishu.

In a joint conference, Peter de Clercq, the deputy UN special envoy to Somalia, said, “Since 2010, this country and the government had been listed on the United Nations Secretary-General’s list as a country where, indeed killing and maiming of the children was still taking place.”

“We are taking a historical step today in a positive direction, ensuring that in the future this no longer will be the case,” he added.

He also noted that the recent bilateral agreement allows access to significant international support and funding to ensure that the measures are supported and implemented by the government and the capacity is built to make sure that such recruitment will no longer take place.

According to the terms of the agreement, the Somali government is committed to ending and preventing the recruitment of children into the country’s National Armed Forces, reintegrating all the children released from the Armed Forces into the society with the support of the UN, criminalizing the recruitment of children through national legislation, and providing the UN with unimpeded access to military installations to verify the presence of children there.

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