Desperate times call for desperate measures. Terrorist group al-Shabab has resorted to forcibly recruit innocent children in their demoralized militia prompting widespread condemnation across Somalia.
It has threatened and abducted civilians in Bay region and forced communities to hand over their children for indoctrination and military training in recent months.
Village elders recount that al-Shabab ordered them to go to Bulo Fulay and hand over dozens of children ages 8 to 15 adding that the group also ordered them to hand over the keys to their boreholes.
In recent months, the group has ordered elders, teachers in Islamic religious schools, and communities in rural areas to provide hundreds of children as young as 8 or face attack.
The armed group’s ruthless recruitment campaign and the abduction of the children from their parents has led to many children fleeing their homes and schools in order to escape the cruel fate of them serving as militants of a dying group.
The armed group’s increasingly aggressive and desperate child recruitment campaign started in mid-2017 with reprisals against communities that refused to comply. These efforts are as a result of the group losing considerable amount of territories to the Somali National Army and its allies.
Al-Shabab is targeting young children solely because it is very easy to brainwash and indoctrinate them. A significant number of its members are misled youth out of its indoctrination camps.