Some are drugged, others brainwashed and some paid $50 (£30) for every month they fight.
Most people are frightened to speak openly, but those who can afford it are sending their children out of the country to safety. An elderly man who did not want to be named publicly told how his 15-year-old son had vanished. He said he had looked everywhere for his boy, and even asked the militant Islamist group al-Shabab whether they had seen him.
They said they had not, but he later found out that al-Shabab had convinced the boy to join their jihad so "he would go to heaven if he died". Children as shields"After a long search I found out that my son is being held in a training camp on the outskirts of Baydhabo," he said. "They are using our children as a shield. But the children of people who claim to be leaders are not in the camps. They are not fighting. "Al-Shabab only use children from the poor as fighters." ..more..http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8173079.stm