Terror group al-Shabaab has, in a desperate move, kidnapped 60 children from a makeshift school in El-garas, Bakool region. This is the latest of the group’s attempts to forcibly recruit children to replenish the diminishing number of soldiers in its loosing battle against the Federal Government of Somalia.
The group has been decimated and is losing territory and political support among the Somali population leading to the desperate measures of kidnapping innocent school-going children.
It has escalated its campaign of forcibly recruiting child soldiers in mid-2017 ostensibly after losing much of its members to the relentless bombardment by the Somali National Army and its allies.
It is the aim of the group to enroll the kidnapped children in its schools, feed them extreme violent ideas and in the end radicalize them in order to use them as suicide bombers and fight for an illegitimate cause.
In January last year, Somali soldiers, with support from US forces, conducted a raid on an al-Shabaab camp in the Middle Shabelle region in southern Somalia and freed at least 32 child soldiers stopping from being turned into suicide bombers.