By Edith M. Lederer, The Associated Press | The Canadian Press – Tue, 15 Feb, 2011 7:46 PM EST
A U.N. task force has documented “grave violations” against children in the poverty-stricken central African nation of Chad including recruitment of child soldiers, deaths and injuries, and sexual violence against girls, according to a report circulated Tuesday.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in the report to the Security Council that the level and extent of attacks in Chad in 2010 were not as high as 2009 but were still “unacceptable.”
The report, covering the period from July 2008 to December 2010, said boys and girls as young as 12 years old are still being recruited by the Chadian National Army and armed groups and warned that rape and sexual violence continue to be “a widespread phenomenon.”
Eastern Chad has suffered a spillover from the Darfur conflict in part because many rebels come from tribes that overlap the Chad and Sudan border. Some Darfur rebels have had bases in Chad, and the Chadian groups have had bases in Sudan, but cross-border fighting has been limited for about a year because the two governments have improved relations.