Quelque 700 enfants ont été tués ou mutilés en Irak depuis le début de l'année, dont certains utilisés dans des attentats suicide par les jihadistes de l'Etat islamique (EI), a indiqué lundi Leila Zerrougui, représentante spéciale de l'ONU pour les enfants et les conflits armés.
S'adressant au Conseil de sécurité lors d'un débat sur ce dossier, Mme Zerrougui a aussi fait état du recrutement d'enfants-soldats par des "milices alliées au gouvernement irakien" et luttant contre l'EI.
Les jihadistes "utilisent des garçons âgés d'à peine 13 ans pour transporter des armes, garder des endroits stratégiques et arrêter des civils (...). D'autres enfants participent à des attentats suicide", a-t-elle déclaré.
Par ailleurs elle a noté que "de nombreux enfants" avaient été arrêtés par le gouvernement irakien en juillet et qu'on ne connaissait pas leur lieu de détention.
"Je suis consternée par le mépris total pour la vie humaine dont a fait preuve l'Etat islamique lors de son avancée rapide en Syrie et en Irak", a souligné Mme Zerrougui.
L'Etat islamique, qui a conquis de vastes territoires à cheval entre Syrie et Irak, figure depuis 2011 sur une liste noire de l'ONU en raison notamment de ses attaques contre des écoles.
Mme Zerrougui a aussi souligné "le bilan terrible" du conflit à Gaza pour les enfants, rappelant que plus de 700 enfants palestiniens avaient été tués et au moins 3.106 blessés ou mutilés dans l'offensive menée par l'armée israélienne.
"Au moins 244 écoles, dont 75 écoles de L'UNRWA (Agence de l'ONU pour l'aide aux réfugiés palestiniens) ont subi des tirs de la part des forces armées israéliennes, qui ont utilisé une école comme base militaire", a-t-elle affirmé.
Elle a aussi dénoncé de "graves exactions commises contre les enfants" au Nigeria par le groupe islamiste armé Boko Haram, en Libye, en Afghanistan, en République centrafricaine, au Mali ou au Soudan du sud.
Le rapport annuel des services de Mme Zerrougui pour 2013, publié en juillet, recense des exactions commises contre des enfants dans 23 situations de conflit dans le monde. Il accuse sept armées nationales et 50 groupes armés d'utiliser des enfants-soldats, notamment en RCA, en République démocratique du Congo, au Soudan du Sud et en Syrie.
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The 16-year-old schoolgirls from Chorlton, Manchester
, followed their brother who had also gone to fight in Syria. \n\nThey are now married to ISIS fighters, and told a reporter for their local paper that they spend most of their time indoors, leaving only with their husbands. Both twins, the daughters of Somali refugees, had achieved excellent GCSE results, 23 grades A*-C between them at Whalley Range High School for Girls. \n\nA twitter account linked to one of the twins shows a woman in a burka, with an AK47. It appears the account has since been removed.
Khadijah Dare, a mother of one originally from Lewisham, has engaged in active recruitment of women for Isis. She left Britain in 2012 to live in Syria with her Swedish husband.\n\nWriting on Twitter under her name Muhajirah fi Sham, which means immigrant in Syria, Dare praised the killing of US journalist James Foley, saying: “Any links 4 da execution of da journalist plz. Allahu Akbar. UK must b shaking up ha ha. I wna b da 1st UK woman 2 kill a UK or US terorrist!(sic)”.\n\nIn a recruitment video for the group
, the 22-year-old can be seen firing an AK47, calling on Brits to come and fight. “Instead of sitting down and focusing on your families or focusing on your studies, you need to stop being selfish because time is ticking,\" she said.
Umm Layth was a prolific tweeter until she was identified in the press as 20-year-old Glaswegian Aqsa Mahmood.\n\nIn her tweets, she urged Muslim men and women who could not come to fight to instead commit terrorist atrocities at home, praising the brutal murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich, the bombing of the Boston Marathon and the shooting of soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas. \"If you cannot make it to the battlefield, then bring the battlefield to yourself,\" she tweeted.\nMahmood, who is now married to an Isis fighter, attended the prestigious Craigholme School and was studying radiography at Glasgow Caledonian University when she left for Syria. Her family reported her missing to police in November 2013.\nDespite praising al Qaeda terrorists and encouraging more attacks, her tweets betray her Westernised roots. One asks for someone to \"make a Hijrah [pilgrimage] from Scotland already and bring me Irn-Bru.” \nShe also tweeted with delight at receiving European food, including Pringles crisps and Nutella.\n\n
A close friend of Aqsa and a Brit of Somalian heritage, Khanssaa is described on Twitter as the \"cook of the house\" in Raqqa where several girls live. She tweets them offering up Nutella pancakes. Unlike many of the other girls who have tweeted about how their families disapprove of their mission to Syria, Khanssaa said she is following in the footsteps of her father who left her family to fight a holy war, though she does not specify where.\n\n\n
With the black flag of Isis as her profile picture, Umm Anwar, who also goes by the name Umm Farris, is one of the four British girls married to an Islamic State fighters who has only recently been identified by researchers. \nShe is believed to be based in Raqqa, and recently said she was surprised to discover a ‘Yazidi slave girl’ from Iraq in a home she visited. As well as retweeting praise for Islamic State fighters and the Caliphate, she mentions shopping and joking with her friends in the city while her husband fights.\n\n\n
Though much of her account extols the virtue of jihad, the third member of the British girl gang in Raqqa peppers her tweets with English slang, like ‘ain’t’ and calls her fellow ISIS wives ‘babesss’. Going under the name \'Black Banners\' on Twitter, where her profile picture includes Osama Bin Laden, she suggested she is the second wife of a fighter\nShe tweets about being “bored” in Raqqa and asks her friends repeatedly to meet up and visit her. Her twitter also includes retweets of beautiful pictures and Vines, including a sunset at the Golden Gate bridge, San Francisco, and a comedy sketch about accidentally dropping a cookie in milk.
A close friend of Anwar, the pair joke about their shopping habits on Twitter, arrange lifts, drink smoothies and cook each other food. \n\nHer background is unclear, but she hints that her family disapprove of her being in Syria, tweeting: “Your family will be the biggest test for you once you make Hijrāh. They\'re either with you or without you.”\n\nMuch of her feed consists of retweets of local fighters and of Islamic sayings, as well as graphic pictures of the dead from Iraq, Syria and Gaza.
The fourth member of the group of girls in Raqqa, who calls herself Qad Af-Iahal Shuhada, has a son with her, and is believed to be from London or the south of England, having tweeted about leaving her Oyster card in the pocket of her abaya, a type of female Muslim covering, while she put it in the watch. \nA foodie, she recently retweeted a recipe for Vietnamese chicken with avocado and lemongrass spring rolls, then messaged her friend to tell her she was cooking for them. Other tweets include a picture of the girls out for dinner in Raqqa
, eating hummus and pita with chilli and vegetables.\n\n\n\n
One of the most prolific tweeters amongst the women in Isis is a British 18-year-old who goes under the twitter handle @UmmKhattab, who has tweeted about previously being based in the town of Manbij, close to Aleppo, tweeting sunsets from the rooftops
, but has recently moved to Raqqa. \n\n\"Best thing ive done in my 18 years in this world is come to the blessed land of shaam and leave Britain the land of kuffar,\" she posted in June.
\n\nAnd she tweeted a dim view of the UK\'s plan to strip returning jihadists of their citizenship. \"Uk government are funny im not returning to ur dirty society which has no moral values y\'all r all uncivilised and need islam to liberate u,\" she wrote.\n\n\n\n
Formerly a rock musician in a local band, the 45-year-old mother-of-two from Chatham, Kent, is believed to have converted to Islam to marry a British Isis fighter Junaid Hussain. The couple are reported to have moved to Raqqa, leaving her children behind.\nHer Twitter account under the name Umm Hussain al-Britani, contains threats like \"You Christians all need beheading with a blunt knife and stuck on the railings at Raqqa... Come here I\'ll do it for you.\"