The use of child soldiers in armed conflicts has been common the world over for a long time now. However, over the last few decades, this practice has become widespread in Africa where armed groups recruit children as part of their war strategy and to help sustain their campaigns. This practice has left thousands of children physically and psychologically bruised with many still suffering from post war effects long after the end of such conflicts. Many negative effects still haunt many of the children who were recruited into the ranks of the government and rebel forces during the decade civil war in Sierra Leone. The civil war in Sierra Leone has been considered to be one of the most gruesome in the history of conflicts in Africa not only because of its high level of brutality but also in the manner in which children were forced into combat and abused both physically and psychologically. It is estimated that between 7000 - 10 000 children below the age of 15 years, some as young as seven were recruited into armed forces or groups during the war.
Thesis (LLM (Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa)) -- University of Pretoria, 2011.