Global Campaign for Rwandan’s Human Rights welcomes the decision by United States government to terminated financial and military assistance to Rwanda government over the use of child soldiers by M23 rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo which Rwanda is backing.

This is an important step towards ending forcibly using children as solders or assistant of solders in conflicts areas.

We are also pleased that since December 2012, when reported that children were being abducted in Rwanda to go to fighting in DRC with the M23 rebels and since we urged the government of DRC not to take children fighting alongside M23 as combatants, we have seen increasing number of media reports, international human rights organisations and aid agencies investigating further those practices and addition their voices to the condemnations of those inhuman actions in reporting them.
Using children as solders is a crime against humanity and should be condemned with rigorous and laud voices accompanied by serious sanctions for those involved.

‘’Decision makers at the international level, whose roles and powers have the potentialities to contribute to end those appalling practices against children should not fail child solders by choosing not to act or choosing to act in ways that may delay those child solders freedom. This would be conspiring with their abductors that forcibly made them into child solders’’ said: Honore Harelimana – Head of research at GCRHR.

We urge the government of Rwanda.
 To end practices of assisting M23 rebels using child solders.
 To provide assistance to former child solders coming back in Rwanda with all support necessary including re-integration, family reunion and health related support.

We urge the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo:
 Not to consider children arrested fighting alongside M23 as enemy combatants but victims.
 Collaborating with relevant humanitarian agencies to provide all support needed for child soldiers freed, arrested and those who escaped M23 rebels’ movements.

We urge the government of United States.
 To do more than ending financial support and talking to the Rwandan government in other to deter the continuation of using child soldiers in M23.
 To lead a resolution at the UN security council level that would establish a child solder monitoring systems within local UN peace keeping mission.

London 5th October 2013.