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Myanmar frees scores of child soldiers from armed forces: UN

Published on Jan 18, 2014 6:05 PM
 
A former Myanmar child soldier (left) carries his belongings as he walks out from a military compound in Yangon after a ceremony discharging a group of children and young people back to their parents and guardians on Jan 18, 2014. Myanmar's army has freed 96 children and young people from its armed forces, the United Nations said on Saturday, hailing a "historic step" towards ending the use of child soldiers in the formerly junta-run nation. -- PHOTO: AFP

YANGON (AFP) - Myanmar's army has freed 96 children and young people from its armed forces, the United Nations said on Saturday, hailing a "historic step" towards ending the use of child soldiers in the formerly junta-run nation.

The move was the largest single release of child recruits since Myanmar's new reformist government and its "tatmadaw" army signed a June 2012 pact with the UN on the issue.

A total of 272 children and young people have been released over the past 18 months as the military has slowed - but not yet completely halted - its use of children.

The release was "an historic step towards ending the recruitment and use of children by the Myanmar Armed Forces", the United Nations said in a statement.

 
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