There are many child soldiers in Africa and the fight is only getting worse. In this article, we are going to take a look at there upbringing, the age of these children, what they endure on a daily basis, and more. If you are looking for Africa facts on children fighting wars in Africa, you will find quite a few here.
What are Child Soldiers in Africa?
In Africa, there are many young people who fight daily wars. Children as young as 9 are forced against their will to become soldiers and kill, military style. It is believed that last year there was close to 250,000 of these children alone but due to so many being taken without notice, it is hard to get an exact count. Africa houses more of these children then the whole world combined.
What These Children Have to Go Through
These children have to endure a lot. Both girls and boys fight in these wars and are trained to kill. Most of the children who are trained are done so under the influence of drugs and alcohol. They are often made to kill their own friends and family members to “toughen them up”, as they say.
A lot of the girls are used to sexually satisfy the boy soldiers in their camps. They spend years fighting these wars for strangers who kidnapped them, only to spend the rest of their life (if they survive) trying to get past the trauma and other things that were done to them.
The wars that they are fighting are not government wars, they are conflicts within Africa. 95% of the them did not volunteer but were instead kidnapped from their families and forced to live this kind of life style. That’s why most of them are trained under the influence of drugs and alcohol. When guerrilla leaders kidnap these kids, they do it in very large numbers up to 100 kids at one time.
Here are some more quick and compelling facts about child soldiers in Africa.
- They not only fight in wars, they are also forced to do other things. This includes becoming: cooks, porters, spies, guards, and messengers.
- Some groups will send kids ahead of the older soldiers into minefields. That way if there is trouble, the younger less-capable kids will be the ones killed.
- Older soldiers also use them for suicide missions.
- The ones who do volunteer, do so because they are so immature and vulnerable. They don’t know what they are getting themselves into. These kids are easily manipulated into doing anything the older soldiers and guerrilla leaders tell them too.
- Due to the advances in weapons, these children in Africa are now able to hold and shoot firearms without any struggle.