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Chad Commits to Demobilizing Child Soldiers

Following our reporting on militia violence and the use of child soldiers in Chad, the Chadian government pledged in May to cooperate with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in identifying and demobilizing children in armed forces. Since then, several hundred children, some as young as eight, have been released from a military base in central Chad. While conducting advocacy at the United Nations Security Council this month, officials at the French mission told us that the French government used our January 2007 report as the basis of the high-level diplomacy that eventually compelled Chad to commit to the demobilization agreement. To date, only government backed paramilitary groups have demobilized children, and we are pressing Chadian authorities to demobilize children within the ranks of the national army as well. We also continue to report on how the Chadian army, government-backed paramilitary groups, and rebel forces have used and recruited child soldiers in Chad and in Darfur.

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