The United Nations children’s organization, UNICEF has identified Central and West Africa as regions in the world with the highest number of children recruited into armed conflicts.
In a report published on Tuesday, November 23, 2021, UNICEF discloses that more than 21.000 children are recruited by the government and armed groups in these regions.
The report also includes the situation in the North West and South West regions of Cameroon where separatist armed groups are said to have recruited children into fighting.
A conflict management researcher resident in Bamenda warns that such practices are against international law.
The convention of the rights of the child which was adopted in the United Nations in 1989, anybody below 18 years is considered to be a child.
Also, there’s the optical protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflicts.
The researcher noted that the protocols are largely violated by what we experience in Central and West Africa and very particularly Cameroon in the North West and South West regions since the beginning of the crisis. He says children under 18 years are now carrying guns who according to him are sometimes pressured by the desire to protect and defend their communities.