Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Union of Islamic Courts (UIC)

Union of Islamic Courts (UIC)
The UIC comprised mainly members of the al-Shabaab (youth militants), a militia of 500–700 fighters, largely drawn from the Hawiye and Ogaden clans.25 The UIC was responsible for significant levels of forcible recruitment of children in the latter part of 2006, declaring publicly their intention to recruit from schools. Children were recruited from schools in Mogadishu and the Hiran region. Headmasters from a variety of Mogadishu schools were reportedly called to meetings in September 2006 in which they were each required to commit a quota of 300–600 adolescent children to military training programs of up to six months.26 After the UIC seized control of Mogadishu in June 2006, some children between the ages of 10 and 16 were forcibly recruited for military training by the UIC in Dabble, near Kismayo, in Mogadishu and Hiran regions.27 There were reports that the UIC used child soldiers in recruiting efforts and rallies.28 A large number of child soldiers were reportedly abandoned when the UIC fled Mogadishu in December 2006.
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