UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has expressed serious concern over a rise in recruitment and killing of children in conflict-hit countries in various parts of the world over the past year. In an annual report on children and armed conflict released Thursday, Ban expressed shock about the dire situation of children in war-torn countries especially in Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Somalia and South Sudan.
The report names dozens of armed groups, some government security forces and military alliances that committed grave violations against children in 2015. The report also included armed groups such a-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab militants in Somalia, Nigeria’s Daesh-affiliated Boko Haram, the Taliban in Afghanistan and South Sudan’s government forces in its list of the parties involved in abducting children.
Ban also said in the document that aerial attacks by international military alliances have killed many youngsters in past months. According to the report, Afghanistan recorded the highest number of child casualties in 2015, since the UN began documenting civilian deaths and injuries in 2009. The world body has verified 1,306 incidents resulting in 2,829 child casualties, comprising 733 deaths and 2,096 injured.
This comes as a large number of civilians, including children, have been killed in the US-led airstrikes across various parts of the Afghanistan over the past years. New additions to the list include Saudi Arabia, which has been engaged in a military aggression against its poor neighbor for more than a year.
The report takes a swipe at the Riyadh regime and holds it accountable for killing children and attacking schools and hospitals in the impoverished Arab country. Saudi Arabia and the countries supporting its campaign in Yemen were responsible for 60 percent of child deaths and injuries last year, killing 510 and wounding 667, according to Ban’s report.