UN: Syrian Rebel Groups Pledge to Prevent and End Use of Child Soldiers

The Syrian National Army (SNA) and its affiliated factions have signed an action plan with the UN to prevent and end the recruitment and use of child soldiers.

What to Know

The United Nation’s Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict announced that on June 3, the Syrian National Army (SNA) and its affiliated factions have signed an action plan to prevent and end the recruitment and use of child soldiers.

A statement by the UN announced that the groups commit to “end and prevent the recruitment and use and the killing and maiming of children, to issue command orders to this effect, identify and release children currently within their ranks, and to put in place preventative, protective and disciplinary measures for the recruitment and use and killing and maiming of children.”

Who is Who?

The plan was signed between the UN and the SNA, as well as Ahrar al-Sham and the Army of Islam.

The SNA, formerly known as the Free Syrian Army, is a coalition of Syrian rebel and opposition groups that are primarily backed by Turkey. Ahrar al-Sham and the Army of Islam are two Sunni-Islamist militant groups that are active elements within the SNA.

These groups were involved in several Turkish-led offensives into northern Syria against the Kurds with the goal of establishing a “buffer zone” along the border. According to the European Union Agency for Asylum, “there were documented kidnappings, abductions, torture, extortion and assassinations of civilians by armed groups operating under the SNA” during these operations.

Both Ahrar al-Sham and the Army of Islam were directly accused of recruiting children into its ranks over the past decade.

Reactions

Special Representative Virginia Gamba, who took part in the signing on behalf of the UN, commented that “I welcome the commitment of the opposition SNA, including Ahrar al-Sham and Army of Islam, and their aligned legions and factions to sign this action plan. This is an important step towards better protecting Syria’s children, who continue bearing the brunt of the consequences of 13 years of armed conflict.”

Atlas
Atlashttp://theatlasnews.co
Unbiased & Unfiltered News Reporting for 12+ years. Covering Geo-Political conflicts, wartime events, and vital Breaking News from around the world. Editor-In-Chief of Atlas News.

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