Use of child soldiers in Somalia increases

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AlJazeeraEnglish | September 25, 2010

The use of child soldiers in Somalia is on the rise as fighting in the country continues to worsen.

While international pressure has forced the Interim Government to abandon the use of child soldiers, the challenge is to stop the Islamist insurgents from exploiting them.

Al Jazeera’s Mohammed Adow reports.

U.N. Voices Concern on Child Soldiers in Somalia

By Jeffrey Gettleman, New York Times, June 16, 2010

HARGEISA, Somalia — As the United Nations Security Council expressed a “deep concern” on Wednesday over the continued use of child soldiers and a “readiness” to adopt sanctions against individuals who deploy them, an American lawmaker warned that the United States might have broken several laws by providing assistance to the Somali military, which uses children in conflict.

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Somalia: Roots of War

By Xan Rice, The Guardian, Tuesday 8 June 2010

Somalia’s descent into anarchy began in 1991 with the overthrow of the dictator Mohamed Siad Barre. But the roots of the current power struggle, and its religious nature, are more recent. It began with the growing influence of a network of sharia courts, which were established to dispense justice in the absence of a functioning government, and to provide social services and security.

By late 2005 the influence and popularity of the Islamic courts union, which included moderate clerics as well as radicals, was sufficient to threaten the reign of powerful warlords who carved up much of the country. In the capital, Mogadishu, a warlord alliance began working with US intelligence agents to attempt to keep hold of power. In return for large cash payments they promised to hand over alleged al-Qaida suspects within the courts union.

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