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

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

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.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs