THE UN’S CHILDREN’s rights agency has said that at least 16 children have been killed since last months outbreak of violence in the Central African Republic with at least two of them beheaded.
UNICEF say that 60 further children have been injured since the outbreak of communal violence in the capital Bangui on 5 December.
They are calling on those in positions of authority in armed forces to halt what they say are grave violations against children and to release those being held as child soldiers.
UNICEF Representative in CAR Souleymane Diabate say the agency is witnessing “unprecedented levels of violence against children”.
“Targeted attacks against children are a violation of international humanitarian and human rights law and must stop immediately. Concrete action is needed now to prevent violence against children,” he said.
Weeks of violence in the CAR have pitted majority Christians against Muslims, who make up about one-fifth of the population
Around 100,000 people are belived to have been displaced by weeks of violence and have sought refuge near the main French army base by Bangui airport.
French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has arrived in CAR where 1,600 French troops and around 4,000 African peacekeepers are attempting to curb escalating religious strife.
Additional reporting by © – AFP 2013