According to the UN Chief, Antonio Guterres, children constitute large part of the fighters recruited and used by Al-Shabaab terrorist group in the battle front in Somalia.
UN-Secretary General estimates that over half of the Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabaab fighters are children either forcibly recruited into the terror group or approached with promise of education and jobs.
Guterres pointed a case of Somali’s semi-autonomous Puntland state whereby at least 60 percent of Al-Shabaab operatives captured in March 2016 were youngsters.
According to report circulated by the UN Security Council, Al-Shabaab has used children in combat, with 9-year olds reportedly being taught to use weapons and subsequently sent into battle front lines to die.
Children were also used to transport explosives, work as spies, carry ammunition or perform domestic chores, he said.
The report estimates at least 70 percent (4,213) of Al-Shabaab fighters are under age.
The report said Al-Shabaab targeted poor children who lacked opportunities. They conduct recruitment primarily in rural, remote areas of southern and central Somalia.
The UN chief also pointed a case of recruitment of children from Madrasas in Kenyan refugee camps.
Forcibly of young boys into terror camps and madrasas run by Al-Shabaab also reported.