Somali school children recruited by Al Shabaab
MOGADISHU – Somali armed group, Al Shabaab has allegedly abducted dozens of school children near Tiyeglow town, some 240km (150 miles) north of the capital of Mogadishu.
The group threatened communities to hand over their children for indoctrination to join its group fighting against Somali army backed by African Union force in Somalia.
Radio Kulmiye quoting sources said Al-Shabab kidnapped 60 school children under age 12-14 near Tiyeglow town.
It says the group ordered elders, teachers in Islamic religious schools, and communities in rural areas to provide hundreds of children or face consequences.
The armed group’s increasingly aggressive child recruitment campaign started in mid-2017 with reprisals against communities that refused, according to a report published by Human Rights Watch.
HRW says the al Qaeda linked group recruited thousands of children for indoctrination and to become frontline fighters since 2015.
The armed group has opened several large Islamic religious schools in areas under their control, strengthened indoctrination methods including by bringing in younger children, and pressured teachers to retrain and teach Al-Shabab’s curriculum in schools.