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Last updated: 17 January, 2007 - Published 14:10 GMT
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End child recruitment immediately - UN
 UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon
UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon
UN secretary General, Ban Ki Moon has called for an immediate end to recruiting children to fight as soldiers in the conflict between Sri Lankan government and the LTTE.

The Secretary General has been critical of the LTTE, Karuna faction and the security forces.

"Sri Lankan children are being abducted to fight as soldiers in the bloody island conflict by separatist Tamil Tiger rebels and a breakaway group known as the Karuna faction", a UN report said quoting the secretary general.

The 20-page report covers the period from 1 November 2005 to 31 October 2006.

It notes that over the 12 months, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) had received reports of hundreds of children being recruited by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eel am (LTTE), and also Sri Lankan army involvement in recruitment of children by the Karuna faction.

Warning to LTTE

UN special rapporteur for children and armed conflict, Dr. Radhika Coomaraswami said Secretary General will make his recommendations to the security councils working group.

It will decide whether to give LTTE some time to comply or to impose immediate sanctions, she said.

They may probably give a warning to LTTE to comply within a time frame or else take actions against them, she said.

"Information coming from the UN country team in Sri Lanka is that LTTE is recruiting Children", Coomarswamy said.

LTTE has been in UN list for about four years and the steering committee has now decided to take action, she said.

Referring to allegations levelled against the government that it is colluded with Karuna faction in child recruitment, Dr. Coomaraswamy said UN do not claim that it is the policy of the government.

Govt. pledge

Some elements in the security forces have been complicit in tying to recruit children by the Karuna faction, she said.

UN has reported this to the government of Sri Lanka which has pledged to stop it, Dr.Coomaraswamy added.

Reports have also been received in Batticaloa District that on 14 and 26 June, Sri Lankan Army personnel carrying weapons, accompanied Karuna faction members who forcibly abducted and recruited nine children aged 14 (two children), 15 (one child) and 17 years (six children),” the document adds.

In outlining his recommendations, the Secretary-General reiterates his call for an immediate end to the conflict.

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