Source: The Herald
The UN Children's Fund on Tuesday called for "an immediate end" to the abduction and rape of girls and women and the recruitment of child soldiers in Mali. "Human Rights Watch issued on Monday a compelling report that details testimony about abductions and rapes of girls and women by armed groups in northern Mali and the recruitment and use of children by armed groups," Unicef Executive Director Anthony Lake said in a state- ment.
"Such actions are grave violations of international humanitarian law and can constitute war crimes" and "there must be an immediate end to these outrageous acts," the statement said.
The UN estimates that since January this year, at least 284 000 residents have fled their homes as a result of the armed conflicts in the north of Mali.
About 107 000 are believed to be internally displaced, and some 177 000 have fled to neighboring countries, notably Niger, Burkina Faso, Algeria, and Mauritania.