The retired general says the world needs a peace agreement with teeth.
He says the terror group poses a more insidious problem than those in Africa.
This November we must also remember those child soldiers lost in battle. However, children rarely enter the conversation in this manner on Remembrance Day -- they are forgotten. The UN estimates that 250,000 children, boys and girls, are currently being used as child soldiers, we will never know how many of them have been killed or lost in battles.
General Romeo Dallaire was meeting with two child soldiers, Serge and Ajefi (age 16). Both had just escaped their armed rebel groups. Dallaire told them that during the Rwandan Genocide, "I faced one kid, who had an AK-47 stuffed nearly up my nose. And in his huge eyes, there was anger and horror and fear, and excitement."
Peter Bregg/White Pine Pictures
A single question struck General Roméo Dallaire when he stared down the barrel of that AK-47. Nearly 20 years later, it’s a question that haunts him as much as it keeps him breathing. How do I get tha...
Roméo Dallaire declared: "I need a haircut." We had heard that just down the street was a barber shop where the young man cutting hair was a former child soldier. He turned in his weapons, trading a machete (or panga) for scissors, and learned a new trade: "I used to be forced to cut limbs; now I cut hair."
More than 250,000 children under 18 are involved in at least 17 conflicts around the world today. In 2008 Romeo Dallaire, now a Canadian Senator, founded the Child Soldiers Initiative to raise awareness, pressure world governments to take action, and train police and military forces from around the world to protect children and prevent them from being recruited as soldiers.