• MYANMAR ARMY FREES 68 CHILD SOLDIERS

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    YANGON: Myanmar’s army has freed 68 children and young people from military service, the United Nations (UN) said on Wednesday, calling for a “mass release” of child soldiers in the formerly junta-run nation. The release is the biggest such move since the UN signed an agreement on the issue in June 2012 with Myanmar’s reformist regime and “tatmadaw” army, which for years recruited children to bolster its ranks. In a little over a year, 176 children and young people have been discharged from the military, which has decreased—but not yet stopped—the recruitment of children to the armed forces. There are no verifiable figures on how many children are currently serving in Myanmar’s huge military, which has faced a slew of accusations of rights abuses including the forced recruitment of children and other civilians to work as porters or even human mine detectors. Myanmar released 42 children in September last year, 24 in February and a further 42 in July. All of those freed were recruited as children, but some have since become adults.

    AFP

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