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Mali: release of nine child soldiers detained by the CMA

From local sources, the Coordination of Azawad Movements handed over at least nine minor combatants to the UN mission in Kidal on Friday August 11.

“They were all detained separately from adults at the Kidal Prison. And they are minor combatants of the Platform captured in Takalot during the last fighting between signatory movements of the peace agreement”, said a local source well informed of the events.

Among them, a child already captured during the July 2016 clashes around the town of Kidal, but who was later enlisted. “After their release, the UN mission will escort them to Gao”, add other sources.

On Thursday, Minusma expressed concern about the use of child soldiers by armed groups in Mali. “We were able to establish that the armed groups were using minors in their ranks. This is extremely serious because of the 33 people currently held by the CMA in Kidal, eight are children”, said Guillaume Ngueffa, head of the human rights division of the Minusma.

At the end of June, violent clashes broke out between the CMA and the group of self-defense of Imghad and allies (Gatia), a member of the Platform in the Kidal region. Fighting that took place after several weeks of tension between the two camps around the management of the city.

Aboubacar Dicko