By Josephine Wanjiru
New UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has expressed alarm at reports that children may constitute a large part of the force recruited and used by the armed Al-Shabaab group in Somalia.
In a report to the Security Council circulated this week, the UN chief said Al-Shabaab used children in combat with nine year olds reportedly taught to use weapons and sent to frontlines.
The report revealed that the youngsters were lured with the promise of education and jobs.
According to the report, a task force in Somalia verified the recruitment and use of 6,163 children, 5,993 boys and 230 girls during the period from April 1st 2010 to July 31 2016 with more than 30 percent of the cases in 2012.