Armed conflict and the increasing use of child soldiers in the Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, and South Sudan: Implications for regional security

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The use of child soldiers has been increasing in the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, and the Central African Republic. To understand the implications of this on regional security, the study employed a strict textual analysis of the relevant literature on the use of child soldiers in these countries. The study found that the limited protection of refugee camps, poverty, and kidnappings are the major factors contributing to the recruitment of child soldiers. Moreover, the conflict over resources and that of religious differences has torn families apart and increase population displacement in these countries. The study concluded that the conflicts in these countries have not received the attention they deserve and although the United Nations has intervened, the lack of attention by the African Union and state governments means the problem will only escalate, threatening the livelihoods of children and regional security altogether.

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Victor H. Mlambo

Department of Public Administration, University of Zululand, KwaDlangezwa, South Africa

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