Seafarers are not the only victims of Somali piracy, so are the country’s children, now being recruited by warlords to man their skiffs. It comes as no surprise in country where militia backing the west-supported Transitional Federal Government, TFG, as well as the radical Islamist movements such as Al-Shabaab and Hizbul Islam, actively recruit children.
“Some parties are using the radio, schools and putting pressure on parents” to recruit children, Radhika Coomaraswamy, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, told reporters in New York after her visits to Kenya and Somalia last week. Ms. Coomaraswamy said that killing and maiming of children was widespread in Somalia, adding that she had met some children with bullets still lodged in their bodies after being shot during clashes. Schools were often attacked as rival groups sought to impose their own curricula, she said.