This article originally appeared in Deutsche Welle and was published in Swahili. 

Thousands of young girls have been arrested or inserted in the armies of various militias in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where they are often used sexually, a group of children's rights Child Soldiers International said today.

Eastern Congo there are hundreds of thousands of child soldiers and girls who are associated with these armed groups, said Sandra Olsson from the group of Child Soldiers International.

Girls aged from nine to 16 are working far away for militants, including cooking, collecting firewood, carrying the loot, they served as sex slaves and even engaged in fighting as soldiers or spies, Olsson told agency news agency dpa.

Group of Child Soldiers International and its partners of the Congo have 150 girls interviewed for the report to be published today.

Banner image credit: UNICEF