UN Says Reports of Child Soldiers Being Recruited in Libya

The Canadian Press – ONLINE EDITION

By: The Associated Press

GENEVA – U.N. officials say they are getting reports that child soldiers are being recruited to fight for Moammar Gadhafi loyalists in Libya — which would be a war crime.

UNICEF spokeswoman Marixie Mercado told The Associated Press on Friday there is “a serious concern” that child soldiers are among the mercenaries that Gadhafi is hiring to attack rebel forces.

The spokeswoman for the U.N. children’s agency said the mercenaries come from Chad, Niger, Central African Republic and Sudan’s Darfur region, which are all places “with known child soldiers.”

The U.N. special envoy for children in armed conflicts, Radhika Coomaraswamy, also says human rights groups and local civilians are providing unconfirmed reports that children are being killed and injured by taking up arms in Libya.