oa Focus on Arms in Africa - Demilitarising youth : the challenge of inventing peace



For millions of Sierra Leonean, Angolan and Congolese children, peace has become something mythical, or at best a distant memory. Over the past decades armed conflicts in Sierra Leone, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo have wreaked destruction on civilian populations, destroyed infrastructure and distorted economies. These conflicts have effectively erased the lines between civilian and military targets and in the process run roughshod over values and norms that would protect children and youth. In all of these situations, inherently youthful populations have been pillaged through the recruitment of young people into armed forces, some as frontline fighters.


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