Early to war child soldiers in the Chad conflict

Early to war child soldiers in the Chad conflict

Can Chad stop recruiting child soldiers?

This document critically examines the recruitment of child soldiers in Chad by both the Front Uni pour le Changement (FUC) rebels and the government. It also takes a look at the international response from governments and organisations in addition to providing a series of recommendations.

The authors argue that that access to all military installations must become a reality and international child protection officials must be able to make spot inspections on all Chadian military bases and camps. France has taken the lead on pressurising demobilisation and A United Nations protection mission has been proposed but has met persistent opposition from Chadian government officials.

Key recommendations put forward include:

  • the government of Chad must immediately end all recruitment of persons under age 18, whether for use as combatants or any other military purpose
  • the FUC should demobilise children under age 18 from all armed forces, and transfer them to their families or to appropriate child protection agencies
  • UNICEF must use all available means to enhance cooperation with the government in identifying all persons under age 18 in armed forces and groups, and in facilitating their transfer to appropriate rehabilitation programmes
  • The U.S must make all military assistance, including the pending sale of C-130 aircraft, contingent on the Chadian government’s progress toward demobilising child soldiers, and establish a mechanism to track progress