Children Suffer Abuse, Army Recruitment in Central African Republic Crisis

From forced displacement to widespread lawlessness, the African nation has been sliding into chaos with reports of child abuse, looting and epidemics.

Posted: 08/14/2013 02:00 PM EDT

Save the Children has warned that more than 100,000 displaced children in the Central African Republic were at risk of sexual abuse and recruitment into armed groups since the rebel takeover last March.

Forced to flee their homes after fighting among the rebel groups sparked widespread abuses, many of the children are suffering from malnutrition and malaria.

Mark Kaye, a spokesperson for the international non-governmental organization, told BBC News that the existing health system had been nearly extinguished. Food reserves and personal possessions have also reportedly been looted, along with pharmacies and hospitals.

As BBC News reported:

Mr Kaye said that aid organisations urgently needed help to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe.

"This isn't just a forgotten crisis from the coup. This country has been largely ignored for the best part of a decade now.

"Even before this coup one in 10 children died before they reached the age of one and 15 out of 100 died before they reached the age of five."

Over the weekend, [Ban Ki-moon] urged the UN Security Council to consider sanctions or to set up a panel of experts to monitor the situation in CAR.

Read the full story here.

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(Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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