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Over 300 enslaved children have been released in Central African Republic

May 19 , 2015 Over three hundred children who were taken from their families and forced into armed groups in Central African Republic have regained their freedom as part of a United Nations-brokered deal with leaders of these groups after two years of conflict in the country. The released children, about three hundred and fifty seven in number, were freed in the town of Bambari, about 200 kilometers northeast of Bangui. They have received medical care and efforts are under way to trace their families.

Mohamed Malick Fall, a representative for the United Nation’s children’s agency UNICEF, and part of the team instrumental to the children’s release is quoted as saying

“After two years of heavy fighting, the release of children by these groups on the same day is a real step towards peace,”

The violence that led to the abductions was reported to have broken out in the country when mostly Muslim Seleka rebels seized power, and Christian gangs known as anti-balaka carried out reprisal attacks. The fighting has abated and the people just want peace now from a senseless war that has claimed the lives of thousands. In an agreement commended by the UN as an important step towards peace, 10 armed groups have agreed to a peace accord requiring them to disarm and potentially face justice for war crimes.

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