In Somalia, The Children Our of Free Will Join Forces In the
Husein Abdi, 13, felt proud that he could participate in the
jihad in Somalia, it had been two years that he was in the military training
camp of the Hizbul Islam group, one of the jihad groups that is allied to the
"I am confident that to die at a young age is the best
death, there is no age limit to become the forces of Allah," he said in a
street of Mogadishu.
"This is what my friends and I freely chose, there was no
compulsion and I am too happy to become what I am now," he added while
carrying an Ak-47 in his hands which looked bigger than his body.
The influx of young Mujahids into the jihad groups in Somalia is sometime made
as a weapon by the enemies by saying that the “militant” organizations do not
know the rules by recruiting young boys as their forces.
"Making the children as soldiers is not a new phenomenon in Somalia, however
what appeared to be new is the systematic recruitment which is expansive in all
parts of the country," one of the members of the UNICEF in Somalia, Isabella
"They look active and free to do campaigns of recruiting children," she
Mohammed Abdulkadir Mursal, 15, one of the young soldiers, his brother had
preceded him (to die) during a battle and he said that he must die while holding
"I know it is not an ordinary job for the children, but I
don’t care what they say because I am the one who decide the choice I took in
this life that I live and I will die in this path," Mursal said.
Husein Abdi left his school in 2007, sometimes after the Ethiopian forces
invaded Somalia. He joined the Hizbul Islam in Mogadishu after his uncle died in
a battle against the Ethiopian forces.
"The cursed Ethiopian forces killed my uncle and I ordered
my family (the females) to leave Mogadishu. From then on, I began to pick up
weapons to fight the invader forces and their accomplices," Abdi said
"There are a lot of foreign forces spreading out in our
country here," Abdi said, "including the forces of
the African Union from Burundi and Uganda."
"This is the reason why we are still fighting. It’s for
the sake of defending our religion. We want the implementation of the pure
Islamic Shari’ah in this country and we are ready to suffer and sacrifice for
its implementation," he continued.
According to Husein Abdi, becoming a soldier at a young age is not a bad action
as what had been accused by the enemies. "Why not? After
all what had happened, I am confident that this is not a crime."
According to the UN, recruiting young soldiers under the age of 15 is a war
crime. They also accused that the children joined forces with the armed groups
because of economical motives.
"We do not wish for any payment from what we are doing,
however when we started to fight, the money would start to flow in to fulfill
our needs," another young soldier objected the accusation made by the