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Child Soldiers in Liberia

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Children who have been used as soldiers are among the most tragic victims of the war in Liberia. Although international law forbids the use of children under the age of fifteen as soldiers, many thousands of children have been involved in the fighting.The main rebel forces, Charles Taylor's National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) and the United Liberian Movement for Democracy in Liberia (ULIMO), have consistently used children under the age of eighteen, including thousands of children under fifteen. Children under fifteen are reportedly used by the other warring factions that have recently emerged. The widespread use of child soldiers has ensured that many thousands of children in Liberia have suffered exceptional cruelties during the war; many child soldiers have been killed or wounded, or have witnessed terrible atrocities in a period in which thousands of other children, too,have died. Moreover, many children have themselves taken part in the killing, maiming or rape of civilians, including other children, or the looting of civilian homes.
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