Children in CAR facing horrific cruelty and violenceListen /
At least 133 children have been killed or maimed in the past two months in the Central African Republic, according to the UN Children's Fund UNICEF.
The organisation saysthe growing secterian and retaliatory attacks by opposing rebel groups has lead to unprecedented levels of violence against children.
UNICEF West and Central Africa Regional Director, Manuel Fontaine says with the upsurge of sectarian violence in the capital Bangui and elsewhere in the country, children are increasingly targeted because of their thier ethnic background or because of the region they come from.
Marixie Mercado is UNICEF's spokesperson in Geneva.
“Over the past two months UNICEF and partners have verified the killings of 37 children and the maiming of 97 children some of these acts were committed with brutality that is difficult to fathom. A number of children have also had limbs amputated because the fighting kept them from getting to medical help in time. Over the past two months UNICEF and partners have also received reports of 167 cases of sexual violence in Bangui displacement camps. 26 of them were related to case involving children. The targeting and emptying of communities over the past couple of weeks has also led to a significant increase in the number of unaccompanied and separated children. UNICEF is appealing to the government to the community, religious and civil society leaders who are invested with the trust of their communities to help end the violence, to draw their communities back from these places where adults applaud the desecration of children.”
UNICEF says perpetrators these horrific crimes against children must be investigated, prosecuted and punished.
Patrick Maigua, United Nations, Geneva.