Allegations of Forced Conscription and Child Soldier Recruitment Emerge Against Ethiopian Government

Addis Ababa Ethiopia: New reports have surfaced alleging that the Ethiopian government is engaging in forced conscription, including the recruitment of child soldiers, as it grapples with ongoing internal conflicts that have persisted for over five years. The country’s prolonged civil war has resulted in significant casualties, with hundreds of thousands of soldiers lost. Facing a critical shortage of manpower and widespread reluctance among the youth to voluntarily enlist, the government has reportedly turned to coercive measures.

Former soldiers who have surrendered to Fano fighters have revealed harrowing accounts of being forcibly conscripted. They claim to have been detained from their workplaces, homes, or while walking, only to be sent to military training centers and subsequently to the front lines after minimal preparation. These testimonies highlight the extreme measures the government is allegedly taking to replenish its ranks.

The conscription crisis is exacerbated by growing opposition among the youth, many of whom are indifferent or actively opposed to the government’s military campaigns against its own people. Social media has become a platform for families to voice their distress, with numerous parents unsure if their children have been arrested or sent to fight. Some have openly protested the forced participation of their children in the civil war, expressing their anguish and condemnation of the government’s actions.

In addition to forced conscription of adults, there are grave accusations that the Ethiopian government is recruiting minors for military operations. This practice is a direct violation of international treaties, including the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Ethiopia has ratified. The shortage of soldiers due to casualties, surrenders, and desertions has reportedly driven the government to target younger populations. Social media images and testimonies suggest that many of the new conscripts appear to be underage.

Human rights organizations and political groups are calling for international condemnation of the Ethiopian government’s alleged actions. They argue that the high unemployment rate among the youth and the displacement of over 10 million children from schools due to the ongoing conflict and government policies have left these vulnerable groups susceptible to forced conscription.

Human rights advocates are urging the international community to intervene, emphasizing the urgent need to protect Ethiopia’s youth from being exploited as soldiers in a conflict that continues to devastate the nation. The call for action seeks to hold the government accountable and ensure compliance with international human rights standards. The international community’s response could play a crucial role in resolving the humanitarian crisis and safeguarding the rights of children and young people in Ethiopia.

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