from OMAN MBIKO in Bangui, Central African Republic
BANGUI, (CAJ News) – AT least 167 children have been raped during the incessant conflict in the Central African Republic (CAR) in recent months.
These are the most serious violations out of the 305 new cases of gender-based violence (GBV) against children.
Statistics are for the period covering May and June.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) also documented 57 cases of child marriage and 13 cases of genital mutilation during the period.
Some 13 other cases of GBV were not classified but are likely to have been rape, sexual assault or harassment.
Children are enduring the most of the civil war that ensued in the Central African Republic in 2012 when Muslim radicals overthrew the government.
It sparked conflict with Christian extremists also vying for the control of the Central African country of over 4,6 million people. The rival groups are blamed for the violations against minors.
Meanwhile, UNICEF is facilitating the re-integration of 427 children, including 71 girls, released from armed groups.
The minors are receiving appropriate life skills and training to strengthen their self-reliance.
Furthermore, 94 children, including 47 girls, who have been separated from their families due to the ongoing conflict, have been registered and provided with appropriate family-based care through reunification with their families or placement in foster family.
Between May and June, 12 720 children (7 041 boys and 5 679 girls) directly affected by the conflicts and displacement participated in UNICEF supported mental health and psycho-social activities.
A unity deal brokered by Russia the government signed with rebel groups and the deployment of peacekeepers has failed to secure peace in CAR.
– CAJ News