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Militants release 23 children held in Central African Republic

Saturday, January 18, 2014 - 01:06

Jan. 18 - The United Nations says many children have become recruited and exploited by militants in Central African Republic's ongoing conflict. Nathan Frandino reports.

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They're only teenagers. Yet these children in the Central African Republic are already victims in their country's conflict. The U.N. says militants recruited them for fighting and even sexual exploitation. (SOUNDBITE) (French) JEAN LOKENGA, CHIEF OF CHILD PROTECTION, UNICEF CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC, SAYING: "In the camp, the children were playing different roles. Some had a combative role but some were taking on the role of assisting the military, cleaning weapons, cleaning their homes and so on. And sometimes girls were unfortunately used as women." Released this week, 23 children between the ages of 14 and 17 must now readjust to life outside the militant camps. The U.N. now hopes to reunite them with their families. (SOUNDBITE) (French) JEAN LOKENGA, CHIEF OF CHILD PROTECTION, UNICEF CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC, SAYING: "Some of these children were with the armed groups for a year, some for two years, some for less than a year and no longer saw their parents so re-uniting with families is also a service which we are going to provide to these children." But in a conflict that's displaced more than a million, there's no telling when they'll be home.

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Militants release 23 children held in Central African Republic

Saturday, January 18, 2014 - 01:06