Advocates for Child Soldiers

Thursday, June 7, 2007

In 2002, Béoué's life changed drastically when war broke out in Côte d'Ivoire and an armed rebellion split the nation in two, drawing in warlords and fighters from neighbouring Liberia and Sierra Leone. Béoué's village was attacked and burned.
Those who were fit enough managed to escape and hide in the bush. Béoué, who was 13 at the time, decided he wanted to join the fighting forces. He felt he had nothing to lose, since most of his relatives had been killed in the attack.

Reintegrating Béoué required that he learn a trade to make a place in his community. With the assistance of UNICEF and the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO) he has learned construction skills. Due to his experience as an ex-combatant he is used to organizing activities and delegating responsibility and mastering his trade.

By Sacha Westerbeek

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