Here's a totally depressing article about child soldiers in the Congo and in other wars in Africa, and the relationship between the changing nature of armed groups in Africa and the use of child soldiers. Quoting political scientist Will Reno, the article points out that, after the Cold War, "the political landscape opened up to well-armed opportunists, no longer inconvenienced by state regulations, state security or moral principles. 'When there isn’t that big barrier anymore,' he said, 'all these weird things start to happen.'” "'Weird things'" including child soldiers.
Check out Lionel Healing's excellent photography with the story. Healing works for Agence-France Presse, and he is one of my favorite photographers in the field of journalism. Healing posts pictures on his photoblog here. The current frontpage picture on his site is of the acrobatics program in Goma. It's a pretty amazing shot.