Burundi : Children in refugee camps in Rwanda recruited as soldiers

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Discover: Life as a refugee in Rwanda’s capital Kigali [Photo report]

Burundian refugees are brainwashed by rebel leaders within vicinity of refugee camps.

Non-state armed groups, such as rebel groups and militias, are allegedly using the cover of refugee camps in Rwanda to recruit Burundian refugees and children, in what campaigners are describing as a potential violation of international law.

More than 220,000 Burundians have fled what is increasingly looking like a new civil war, just 10 years after the 1993-2005 conflict that left 300,000 dead. Fleeing a deadly crackdown by the government, more than 70,000 Burundians have fled to neighbouring Rwanda since violence broke out in Burundi in April 2015 when President Pierre Nkurunziza launched a controversial bid to prolong his term in office.

Yet, instead of finding safety in their country of exile, some refugees have been systematically recruited into armed groups.

Since May 2015, at least 80 individual cases of alleged refugee recruitment have been documented by international officials who shared their findings with advocacy organisation, Refugee International.

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