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116 children separated from armed groups in DR Congo

Kisangani, April 10 (Xinhua) -- A total of 116 children, including 6 girls were separated from armed groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo), UN Mission for Stabilization of Congo (MONUSCO) said Wednesday.

The spokesperson Nana Rosine Ngangue said during a press conference that all children were transferred to Centers of Transit and Orientation(CTO) for their family reunification and reintegration.

"These children had been used as combatants, escorts, cooks, domestic workers, carriers and providers of food fetishes," said Ngangue, adding that they were recruited mainly by arms groups Alliance Patriots for a Free and Sovereign Congo(APCLS) and Nyatura.

According to the spokesperson, some of the children had received military training and participated in the fighting, and one of the boys were kidnapped at his 4-year age.

MONUSCO is strongly encouraged by the arrest of the Mayi-Mayi Nyatura leader Muchomba Bahani, who been accused of recruiting and using children. The former commander have been in detention and pending prosecution since Feb. 28, when he was caught at the training center Kotakoli of FARDC in the province of Ecuador.

For MONUSCO, it is a strong sign from the DR Congo Government who made commitment to eradicate the phenomenon of child soldiers in its territory and to ensure that perpetrators brought to justice.

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