Sierra Leone: Prisoners of war? Children detained in barracks and prison
Children have been caught up in the armed conflict between rebel forces and the government which began in March 1991. Some were orphaned when their parents were killed, and some have themselves been the victim of deliberate and arbitrary killings. Others have been enlisted by both sides to fight, so that by 1993 there were reportedly over 1,000 boys between the ages of 7 and 15 in the army, although in June 1993 it was announced they were to be demobilized. Children have also been among those arbitrarily detained by the military. Representatives of Amnesty International visiting the country in May 1993 found young children held with their mothers in Daru, Kailahun district, and at Pademba Road Prison, 16 boys under 18 are being held without charge or trial in harsh conditions.