Sunday, October 09, 2011

Obama Backs Military Aid to Countries that Use Child Soldiers

Jim Lobe
October 6, 2011.

For the second year in a row, U.S. President Barack Obama has waived a Congressionally-mandated ban on military aid for four countries that use child soldiers.

The four countries that will continue to receive military assistance despite the use of child soldiers in their armed forces include Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Yemen and the newly independent nation of South Sudan, according to a memo released by the White House late Tuesday.

All four, which are slated to receive a total of more than 200 million dollars in military aid in 2012, were given waivers by the administration last year, as well.

The latest decision was denounced by Human Rights Watch (HRW) which said it showed "a lack of leadership and a disregard for U.S. law".

"Countries that keep using child soldiers aren't going to get serious about ending the practice until they see the U.S. is serious about withholding the money," said Jo Becker, who heads HRW's children's rights division.

"The Obama administration has been unwilling to make even small cuts to military assistance to governments exploiting children as soldiers," she added. "Children are paying the price for its poor leadership."

Under the U.S. Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008, which took effect in 2010, Washington is banned from providing U.S. foreign military financing (FMF), military training, and several other military aid programmes to countries that recruit soldiers under the age of 18.

Obama can waive the bans if he determines that doing so would serve "the national interest".

Read the rest here.


Comment: So much for 'change you can believe in' from the Nobel Peace Prize president.  And there are still folks losing sleep about re-electing this Uncle Tom.

How you liberals like this murderous fool now?  How many more citizens must he kill before someone cries impeachment (not that impeachment means anything)?

Just asking.


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