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Impact of children recruitment in armed group, case of North Kivu province

par Julien Shemitima
UNIGOM - Licence 2011

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Bitcoin is a swarm of cyber hornets serving the goddess of wisdom, feeding on the fire of truth, exponentially growing ever smarter, faster, and stronger behind a wall of encrypted energy







Done by: Julien SHEMITIMA.

Consultant in Child Protection.

Student in English Program.

Work presented and defended.

Facilitator: Faustin BIZIMANA


Motto: Teaching is Touching Souls Forever

December 2021

ROUTE KATINDO- AFIA BORA, non loin de l'église Néo-apostolique sur Avenue Mukalayi, No.4.

Juste à côté de l'hôtel Idjwi Business, vers l'église du Nazaréen, Sous La ligne (SNEL) Haute tension.

E-mail: btcdrc2014@gmail.comMob.:#243 85 32 44 246 & #243 973 111 973 / 099 911 81 25



«Statistics are primordial, but it's important to never forget that each child we report on has him own story.»

Dee Brillenburg Wurth

« Les statistiques sont primordiales mais il est important de ne jamais oublier que chaque enfant sur lequel nous établissons un rapport a son propre récit. »

Dee Brillenburg Wurth



Bids of law of armed conflict recognize that even the war has its borderline. Generally the war is prohibited. But people victims of injustice, aggression, grave violence and others violation of right can opted for the war as an ultimate way to recover their right.

It is said that rules of law concern all domain. So there is rules applicable in case of armed conflict. Those rules are imposable to all parties of conflict.

Faced with the extreme consequences of the war of the second universal war, Governments of all States members of United Nations adopted 4 (four) convention on 12nd days of August 1949 at Geneva (Suisse).

This conventions provide rules and methods of conduct of the war. For instance, the weapon, arm of massive destruction is prohibit; poisoning is also forbidden. People who don't participate at the conflict armed must be treat with dignity and humanity. Brief, warriors are not authorized to use any technical of war or to adopt any behavior.

The 4th convention is interested about the protection of civilian people during the period of armed conflict. Therefore, children are principal members in different categories of civilian population.

Generally, this convention provide rules which protect civilian people and properties (possessions) such as market, church, school, hospitals, and so on. The warriors or militaries should not attack those categories. Actually, the war must concern only military target.

It's known, children are very vulnerable in context of armed conflict. Warriors and military should respect child right.

This topic will try to present the reasons why children are recruited and use by the armed forces and armed group. As possible, we are going to present and analysis great violence which are being committed against children.

In our research, we are going to present some armed group which are identified as responsible of recruitment and use of children. At the end, we are going to provide the solution may be applicable; 2



(1) Child means any human being under the age of 18 years, in accordance with article 1 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

(2) Recruitment and use of children. Recruitment includes acts of voluntary or forced conscription or enlistment to any armed force or armed group. The Paris Principles states that the use of children includes the use of minors in any capacity, such as, but not limited to: fighters, cooks, porters, messengers, sexual slaves or spies.

(3) Exploitation" of a child means the use of a child in the course of work or other activities for the benefit of others and to the detriment of the physical or mental health, development and education of the child. Exploitation includes, but is not limited to, the exploitation of the prostitution or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, including the forced commission of a crime, slavery or practical analogues.

(4) Killing of Children includes any action that results to the death of one or more children.

(5) Maiming of children, on the other hand, includes any action that results to permanent or debilitating injury, defacing, scarring, and mutilation to one or more children.

(6) Attacks on Schools & Hospitals. Attacks on schools and hospitals involves the occupation, shelling, targeting for use in propaganda, destruction (partially or completely), and causing harm to the school or hospital facility and its personnel. For this violation, a school is any structure, with clear boundaries and recognized by the community as a learning facility. Hospital would include any facility where the sick and wounded are gathered for treatment.

(7) Rape and great sexual violence. This violation includes acts of sexual violence such as rape, enforced sterilization, forced prostitution, forced marriage or pregnancy, as well as sexual slavery.

(8) Abduction of Children would include kidnapping, hostage-taking, illegal detention, of any child in the context of armed conflict. Usually, this violation is committed along other violations such as recruitment, rape, or maiming.

(9) Denial of Humanitarian Access involves the intentional barring by physical force or administrative barriers, of humanitarian aid, supplies, services, and personnel, into and out of an affected area.

(10) Protection is set of activities aimed at ensuring full respect for human rights in accordance with the text and spirit of human law, international human law and refugee law.


(11) Prevention of recruitment means provisions that would prohibit the recruitment and use of children in the armed force/ group would be one of the key components of the Action Plan. This would mean that the armed force/ group would desist from engaging the services

of children in all their activities. (12) Release and Reintegration. Activities aimed to
support the release of children in the armed force/ group and facilitate their reintegration into civilian life.



The reasons children are recruited by armed group are complex, and it's depending on the situation. It appears more Children are not only registered alongside adults, but identified as being targeted, because the use of children has various advantages to groups.

According to NGO and Monusco's report, armed Group recruit in order to use them as fetish, fighter, spy, porter, human shield, sexual slave and others services. Children live bad experiences in bush under yoke of armed group.

In North kivu, armed Group need to have a great number of combatant for maintaining its power in front of enemies. Chiefs of armed group know that if they are less in number then they will not be able to defend themselves at the moment of attack. So, they at the most of time to keep strong and to be able to resist against AFDRC attacks or others armed group.

Both Nyatura rebellious and FDLR operate in Lubero and Rutshuru territories. They established their camp in Virunga National Park. So sometime they kidnap and abduct children in village surrounding. Among children, they often abduct young boy. However, they could take young girls. It's also important to know that among the list of active armed group, both NDC renovate and MAIMAI MAZEMBE as well as RAIYA MUTOMBOKI which operates in Masisi and Walikale territories had committed violations against children.

One of Consequences of children recruitment, some people run away dangerous village and they go to live in another one which is secured. Surely, there is village in which children undergo a great risk. Such situation affect education program when it known that the armed Group can abduct children in school environment or in the way of school.

It's very important to know that if children are not only forced by armed Group but other children choose to join deliberately armed Group. Surely, such children don't appreciate their conditions of family's life. They hope if they become military or combatant they will have power and be able to satisfy their needs. That is also a consequence of parents who failed education of their children and to satisfy to theirs needs.

Even if a child opted himself to join voluntary an armed Group. The armed Group must not accept to recruit him.

Monusco child Protection section initiate actions to prevent recruitment of children. This Section interfere to protect children who are victims of grave violations. They work to provide protection of civilian in period of armed conflict. 9


Firstly, it's important to know that there is two modality or sort of recruitment of children: voluntary and forced. Both of them constitute violation against children right.

Rules of law prohibit the recruitment and use of children by armed Group or force in the armed conflict. Because the place of children is in his family or at school.

Actually, there is a lot of negative impact of children recruitment. If some consequences are current, then others will produce effect in the future. So, some consequences concern child soldier himself and others are related to his community and relationship.


Many reports about armed group and armed conflict narrated bad treatment against children in North Kivu Province. According to testimonies of ex-child soldiers, members of armed Groups killed children, they enforced them to grievous and heavy work and they used them as human buckler in the first line of the war.

Children are also victim of maiming, rape, and torturing and psychology violence. Instead of going to school, they learnt by violence. They were also be restrained to kill their parents or other members of their family. Such children have facility to kill, to steal, to rape, to destroy and burn villages.

We cannot close this part without presenting some problems in the community which incur the risk of recruitment by armed group: Here they are :

- Stop of school activities ;

- Departure of people;

- The fear to work in the field and pasture.


Armed conflict disproportionately affects children. First victims of wars, many girls and boys are killed and maimed, recruited and used as child soldiers, are subjected to sexual violence, are subjected to kidnappings, and are denied access to aid humanitarian. They are also increasingly victims of attacks in schools and hospitals.

In the first party, we definite protection as an activity. Here we are going to present the approach of humanitarian Organization and United System. Protect children should be understood not only as to prevent him against violence but also to respond to violence by help with an assistance. Liberation or demobilization of children is an example of protection. Rules of law are the first instruments of protection. It?s very important to know what is provided by law or convention in each situation.

As we saw by introducing this theme, the resolution 1612 of Security Council of United Nations is the specific instrument which provide how all parties concern could protect children affect by the armed conflict.

Refer to this text, Child Protection Section of Monusco organize sensitization of armed group about the respect of child right in the period of armed conflict.

In 2017, a total of 2,630 children, including (571 and 2,089 boys, were separated from armed groups and militias in the DRC.

In North Kivu Province, most of the children were separated mainly from the armed groups Nyatura, RAIA Mutomboki, Mai Mai Mazembe, FDLR FOCA and NDC RENOVE. Among these separated children 1,031 including 128 girls and 923 boys were recruited and separated during the year 2017.

In 2018 The Nduma Defense of Congo-Rénové (NDC-Rénové) extended its control in the territories of Masisi and Rutshuru, which led to clashes with the APCL, the Nyatura and the FDLR, in which children took part in the fighting. An arrest war was issued in June 2019 against Guidon Shimiray, commander of the NDC-RENOVE, but this did not prevent the latter from continuing to fight and retaining control of large areas in the territories of


Walikale, Masisi and Rutshuru, which has been a constant threat against children. (Report number S/2020/1030 du 19 octobre 2020)

By virtue of Security Council resolutions 1539 (2004) and 1312 (2005) which call for the establishment of action plans accompanied by a dialogue that allows their implementation, the advisers and teams for the protection of children of children The United Nations mission is to establish links with all state and non-state armed actors involved in serious violations against children and enjoy the political leeway to do so.

Prevention of recruitment are provisions that would prohibit the recruitment and use of children in the armed force/ group would be one of the key components of the Action Plan. The primary role of national Governments in providing effective protection and relief to all children affected by armed conflicts ; that's mean the responsibilities of States to end impunity and to prosecute those responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and other egregious crimes perpetrated against children.

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