Thursday March 8, 2018
BUULA BURTE (HOL) – Local administration in central Somalia has said they rescued two children who escaped from Alshabaab militants.
The kids who were reportedly kidnapped by the militant group ran away from a school manned by Alshabaab.
Bulaburte district commissioner, Osman Dahir Gure said his administration dispatched team to rescue the kids who escaped from Alshabaab camp in Luqdhurwa village.
“Initially, the children ran away from Alshabaab school located at Luqdhurwa village between Beledweyne and Bulaburte towns, immediately we got their information, we sent vehicles to transport them to here,” Gure said.
He accused the militants of carrying out raids against the locals, to abduct children.
100 children in Alshabaab school
“About one hundred children kidnapped by the militans are currently undergoing indoctrination and military training in the camp,” the commissioner added.
The commissioner vowed to accelerate operations to clear the militants from Bulaburde district.
The move comes just a month after Somali government rescued over 30 children from Alshabaab during operation against Alshabaab by Somali forces.
The rescue operation which was conducted in January took place Jilyale village lies about 110km southwest of Somali capital.
“Somali National Security forces rescued 35 children from Alshabaab indoctrination centre on 19th January. the government is committed to provide all basic services to these children, as the necessity in rehabilitation these children is indeed critical to their long-term physiological and mental well-being,” Somali government said in a statement.
Alshabaab takes children forcefully
Human Rights Watch ( HRW) has accused Alshabaab of taking children from tneir homes forcefully.
In a report in January, the watchdog said the militants has been launching the aggressive campaigns to indoctrinate the children since mid 2017.
“Alshabaab’s ruthless recruitment campaign is taking rural children from their parents so theu can serve this militant armed group,” said Laetitia Bader, senior Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch.
The report said the Alshabaab takes reprisals against the parents who refuse to cooperate.
Somali authorities have also earlier accused Alshabaab of recruiting children who are send to battle fields.
In 2016, out of 100 Alshabaab fighters captured in a major counter offensive in Puntland’s Suuj valley, 80 were underage, according to authorities of Puntland state.
Alshabaab sent over 250 of its fighters, mostly underage to storm Garad port town, which subsequently promptef fierce fighting Alshabaab and Puntland.
The fighting claimed lives of dozens of children who were fighting for Alshabaab.
Alshabaab has been trying to overthrow Somalia since 2007 when AU sent its troops support Somali government.