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Nepal Rebels Plan to Train 50,000 Child Soldiers

This week, Nepal’s Maoist rebels announced plans to raise a militia of 50,000 children by April, amid reports of mass abduction, even sexual abuse of kids, who they allegedly use as cannon fodder.

On February 22, the leader of the Maoists student wing, Kamal Shahi, said the decision to raise child militia was taken by the rebel leadership on January 10-11. This marks a major departure from their previous commitments to avoid recruiting children below the age of 18. The radical decision has raised the hackles of rights activists and international organizations which have criticized the ideological indoctrination and military training of children in the conflict-torn kingdom. While the activists described the numbers dished out by Shahi as over-inflated, they said the issue of recruitment of child soldiers – which has been consistently denied by the Maoist leadership – is assuming serious proportions. Full Story

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