Terrorist Group Al-Shabaab Abducting Children Across Somalia

A young Al-Shabab soldier poses with his weapon. Many of the young Somalian boys recruited or abducted into the terrorist group are promised an education and money for their families. A young Al-Shabab soldier poses with his weapon. Many of the young Somalian boys recruited or abducted into the terrorist group are promised an education and money for their families. raxanreeb.com

16 January 2018
Al Shabaab is currently abducting citizens from Somalia for military training and indoctrination, Human Rights Watch reported Monday.

The report comes after HRM met with citizens from various districts within Somalia, including Berdale and Burhakaba.

Since September 2017, Al-Shabaab has ordered community elders, teachers, and parents to hand over children. According to citizens, communities are given just ten days or under to hand over the children to the terrorist organization.

Failure to cooperate results in uncertainty or violence, with many community members receiving death threats. In at least four villages in the Berdale district, elders who refused to cooperate were abducted by Al-Shabaab.

As a result, many Somalian children have been forced to escape their villages, according to Laetitia Bader, a senior Africa Researcher at Human Rights Watch. As many as 500 people have fled to areas outside of Al-Shabaab control, the majority of them unaccompanied children.

The journey required to get to safer grounds is long and dangerous. Many children flee to areas in which they have distant relatives, while others end up in internally displaced (IDP) camps.

However, thousands of children have been unable to flee to safer grounds and remain vulnerable and in danger.

Al-Shabaab is a radical youth Somali group that essentially works to transform Somalia into an Islamic State, battling against the UN-backed government presently within the country, according to the Council on Foreign Relations.

Despite the fact that the group no longer has control of most prominent Somali cities and towns, it is still prevalent in rural areas across the country. In the past, the group has claimed responsibility for countless attacks both in Somalia and abroad.

“Al- Shabaab’s campaign only adds to the horrors of Somalia’s long conflict, both for the children and their families,” Bader said.

Since recent attacks, the Somali government has implemented legislation to combat future violence and abductions. The recently enacted Safe Schools Declaration is a commitment to do more to provide safe places for children.

However, the end is still nowhere in sight. Even as the Somali government recognizes the horror, the violence is ongoing. Many individuals, including Bader, agree that the Somali government has yet to take the steps necessary to offer Somali children real protection against the terrorist group

 

To read more, please visit:

http://edition.cnn.com/2014/12/02/world/africa/al-shabaab-explainer/index.html
https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/01/14/somalia-al-shabab-demanding-children
https://www.albawaba.com/news/al-shabaab-forcibly-recruiting-somali-children-some-young-8-hrw-1074152
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-15336689

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