The recruitment and use of children by armed groups remained endemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) between 2010 and 2013, according to a new United Nations report, which cited impunity as a major factor in the ongoing abuses.
“Impunity has encouraged perpetrators to continue their violations against children,” Leila Zerrougui, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, told the Security Council Working Group on children and armed conflict today.
Briefing on the 5th Report on Children and Armed Conflict in DRC, she said there were close to 4,200 cases of recruitment and use of boys and girls by armed groups and the Government armed forces. One third of the cases involved children below the age of 15.
“The chronic instability in eastern DRC, the multiplicity of armed groups and the weakness of state authority have made children extremely vulnerable to all forms of conflict-related violence,” she stated.