First prize, an automated weapon

| November 8, 2011 | 0 Comments

prize-givings. In war-ravaged Somalia, a popular radio station recently celebrated the schoolchildren who knew the most about powerful Islamic militant group Shabab. Contestants competed live on air from radio stations around the country, and the winners – aged between 10 and 17 – were given fully automatic assault rifles and live hand grenades in an elaborate ceremony in a Shabab-controlled region near Mogadishu.

Somalia has no central government, and has been deeply fragmented by ongoing internal strife. Many children have been coerced into military service, and are more familiar with rifles than rulers in this vast African country with one of the lowest schooling rates in the world and the highest rate of mortality due to famine.

At the awards ceremony, Sheik Muktar Robow Abu Monsur, popularly considered to be a moderate Shabab leader, proclaimed that “Children should use one hand for education, and the other for a gun to defend Islam,” reported international press services. Last year Shabab outlawed school bells because they sounded too much like church bells.

Category: Summer 2011

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