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UN to send strong messages to LTTE and Karuna on child soldiers

UN REPORT SAYS THE WORLD BODY WOULD SEND A STRONG MESSAGE TO LTTE AND KARUNA FACTIONS AGAINST THEIR USE OF CHILD SOLDIERS

By Walter Jayawardhana

A statement issued by the United Nations said the Security Council working group on Children and Armed Conflict has decided to send a strong message to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and its rival Tamil Makkal Vidutalai Pulikal (TMVP) or Karuna Faction against their engagement of child soldiers in Sri Lanka.

“They have to stop grave violations of children’s rights, especially the recruitment and the use of children in the conflict in Sri Lanka", said the statement quoting Radhika Coomaraswami, UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict.

Unlike during on a previous occasion, in a report by Alan Rock the press release did not drag the name of the government of Sri Lanka, that led to angry demonstrations then in Colombo in front of the UN offices there.

The release from the UN said, Ms. Coomaraswamy, UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict welcomes the recommendations adopted by the Working Group. "These recommendations send a strong message to the LTTE, a repeat offender who has been on the Secretary General’s list of violators for four years and to the Karuna faction-TMVP.”

The statement dated May 11 further said, the Security Council Working group on Children and Armed Conflict adopted its recommendations on the situation in Sri Lanka and in Nepal and examined the Secretary General’s reports on Somalia and Uganda on the previous day.

Coomaraswamy was quoted having said, “. They have to stop grave violations of children’s rights, especially the recruitment and the use of children in the conflict in Sri Lanka. In regard to Nepal, we hope that the children who remain in the ranks of the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-M) will be demobilized and reintegrated in their communities without delay".

In his report on Somalia, the Secretary General estimates that more than one third of the victims who were killed and injured in fighting there in 2006 were children. Insecurity and violence in Southern and Central Somalia is characterized by grave child rights violations. Continued fighting in and around Mogadishu between the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and remnants of the Union of Islamic Courts forces has resulted in more casualties and violations against children in 2007. Humanitarian access has been severely compromised and has had serious implications for children. In the absence of a functioning police and judiciary, crimes against civilians, including women and children, are committed with impunity. The recruitment and use of child soldiers by the TFG and other armed groups is a significant concern.

The Secretary General’s report on the situation in Uganda highlights the preliminary steps taken by the Government of Uganda to address violations against children, in particular the drafting of an Action Plan to eliminate the use and recruitment of children in armed conflict. It also contains a series of recommendations with a view to securing strengthened action for the protection of war-affected children in Uganda. The Secretary General urges the leaders of Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) to take immediate steps to end child recruitment and the use of child soldiers, and immediately release all children

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May 12, 2007 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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