Recruiting Children as Soldiers Unacceptable, Grave Violation of Int’l Law: Academicians

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July 16,2021 (ENA)  The deployment of child soldiers by the terrorist group TPLF is “unacceptable and grave violation of international humanitarian law,” academicians noted.

The New York Times has this week published a report that depicts the activities of the terrorist TPLF clique to forcefully recruit, train, and deploy children as soldiers against international conventions.

Civil Service University law lecturer, Tesfaye Abate told ENA that the international human rights law is applicable to children because children are part and parcel of humankind.

He pointed out the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child as well as the UN Convention and other international instruments put in place to protect the rights of children.

Tesfaye further cited the UN Minimum Humanitarian Standards: “Children who have not yet attained the age of fifteen years shall not be recruited in or allowed to join armed forces or armed groups or allowed to take part in acts of violence.”

Moreover, Ethiopia has ratified international, regional and national conventions on the protection of children’s rights, he elaborated.

The recruitment and use of children as soldiers by the terrorist group TPLF is therefore a “grave violation of child rights and international humanitarian law,” the academician stressed.

According to him, “this is an act of war crime” and the international community should denounce and take appropriate measures against the group.

Civil Service University lecturer of Diplomacy and International Relations, Endale Negusse said using children as soldiers is against Ethiopian and African values and against international law as well as international diplomacy.  

Noting that the international community has kept silent about this evil act, the academician stressed that the “international community wants to ignore this, but no one can ignore it. They have to denounce the act and take action against the group. This group (TPLF) is playing with  children’s lives.”

Endale further noted that this demonstrates the ‘double-standard’ the international community has been applying and called on the Government of Ethiopia to expose this and create awareness.