In Somalia, real guns are often more accessible than school to children. It is a well known scenario in Somalia that children as young as 9 years old are being recruited to become fighters by radical Islamic insurgents.
In the same token that Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government has fielded hundreds of these children to the front lines.
According to the United Nations, the Somali government is among the “most persistent violators” of sending children into war, funding itself and it suggests to be the same reputation of the dreaded Lord’s Resistance Army, a notorious rebel group.
The Somali government officials, however, has accepted the responsibility and revealed that the US government was helping them in paying their soldiers.
An American official has confirm it, raising the possibility that the wages for some of these child combatants may have come from American taxpayers.
Several American officials have also raised their concern regarding the use of child soldier in combat, however when asked how the American government could guarantee that American money was not being used to arm children, one official replied, “I don’t have a good answer for that.”
United Nations officials have offered the Somali government specific plans to demobilize the children. Somalia’s leaders have been paralyzed by bitter infighting and struggling for years to withstand the insurgents advances and are so far unresponsive.
According to United Nations International Educational Fund (UNICEF), only two countries have not ratified the convention on the Rights of the Child, which prohibits the use of soldiers, younger than 15 years old and they are the United States and Somalia.
The US did ratify a later agreement aimed at preventing the recruitment and use of child soldier.