News / Africa

    US Sanctions Five Nations Over Child Soldiers

    FILE - Child soldiers, possibly Rwandan, are seen at Kanyabayonga in eastern Congo.
    FILE - Child soldiers, possibly Rwandan, are seen at Kanyabayonga in eastern Congo.
    Reuters
    The United States moved to block military assistance to five countries, including three in Africa, over their use of child soldiers in armed conflicts, U.S. officials said on Thursday.
     
    The sanctions affect Central African Republic, Rwanda and Sudan as well as Burma (also known as Myanmar) and Syria, according to the U.S. State Department.
     
    "Our goal is to work with countries who have been listed to ensure that any involvement in child soldiers — any involvement in the recruitment of child soldiers — stop," U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield said.
     
    Three other countries whose militaries are known to recruit and use child soldiers, however, received waivers — Chad, South Sudan and Yemen, another State Department official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
     
    The Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia received partial waivers, the official said, adding that the Obama administration has decided such exemptions "would be in the national interest of the United States."
     
    By law, the U.S. State Department must keep track of nations whose governments recruit and use children as soldiers as part of its annual report on human trafficking. The 10 countries affected by Thursday's actions were all cited in the State Department's latest findings, issued in June.
     
    Those countries can then be denied some types of U.S. funds for military assistance unless the White House grants a waiver. The 2008 law also allows U.S. officials to block licenses needed for those nations to buy military equipment.
     
    It was not immediately clear how much U.S. funding would be blocked because of Thursday's action.
     
    Rwanda was not granted a waiver because of its role backing the rebels in nearby Democratic Republic of Congo, Thomas-Greenfield, the top U.S. diplomat for Africa, said in an online forum with reporters broadcast on the State Department website.
     
    U.N. investigators and the Congolese government have accused Rwanda of sponsoring the rebellion, a charge Rwanda denies.
     
    "Any support of those rebel groups is seen as contributing to conflict in the region," Thomas-Greenfield told reporters, adding that U.S. officials will continue to discuss the issue with the Rwandan government.
     
    The United States will still support peacekeeping efforts in Rwanda, the other official added.

    You May Like

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    City could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters

    Turkey Aims New Crackdown at Journalists, Academics, Airline Workers

    Ankara continues targeting people allegedly linked to exiled cleric, who it says led the failed military coup

    Pakistan Ready to Inaugurate Rebuilt Afghan Border Crossing

    Construction of Torkham Gate triggered deadly clashes between Pakistani and Afghan military forces

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Mambo Number 5 from: Paris
    October 05, 2013 12:07 PM
    Any foreign influence in the GLR gets a password from Kigali. Other smoke screen statements from Washington are staged drama. So, no real harm to Rwanda. Better not mess with Kigali, Sister Linda. We need each other.

    by: MWAKALINGA from: Tanzania
    October 04, 2013 7:37 AM
    This is a right move .

    by: Rajratna Phadtare from: Mumbai,maharashtra ,India
    October 04, 2013 6:32 AM
    U S government have taken a right decision to stop the military assistance to the countries those who are using child soldiers. The United States have always taken a correct measure to protect all the nations from doing wrong from on humanity ground.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora