UN Rights Chief Alleges French Soldier Sexually Abused Girl
September 3, 2015

(Associated Press) – United Nations staff turned up a case of sexual abuse of a girl by a French soldier in Central African Republic, the U.N. human rights chief said Thursday, in the latest claim of sexual abuse by foreign troops in the poor, unstable African country. France’s military has already been rocked by accounts by children as young as 9 of French soldiers giving them food or water in exchange for sex. While French authorities knew of those cases last summer, they only came to light publicly after Britain’s Guardian newspaper reported them in April. No arrests have been made.

 

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Dispatches: Finding Justice, a Decade Later
September 3, 2015

(HRW) – At Human Rights Watch, one thing we’ve learned is that justice can sometimes take a long time. Nearly five years ago, I was contacted by a Dutch prosecutor. He was bringing a case against five people who had been raising millions of euros in Europe for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, a secessionist armed group that had fought for decades against the Sri Lankan government until their defeat in 2009. Fundraising for the Tamil Tigers was illegal in the Netherlands, due to the group’s long history of gross human rights abuses in Sri Lanka. The group had massacred civilians, carried out hundreds of suicide bombings, and recruited thousands of boys and girls into their forces. The prosecutor told me that in addition to charging the defendants with illegal fundraising, he was also charging them with participating in a criminal organization that committed war crimes – specifically, the recruitment and use of child soldiers.

 

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Conflict drives 13 million children out of school in the Middle East and North Africa
September 3, 2015

(UNICEF) – Surging conflict and political upheaval across the Middle East and North Africa are preventing more than 13 million children from going to school, according to a UNICEF report released today. The report, “Education Under Fire” focuses on the impact of violence on schoolchildren and education systems in nine countries* that have been directly or indirectly impacted by violence.

 

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UN: Middle East wars hit 13 million schoolchildren
September 3, 2015

(AFP) – More than 13 million children are being denied an education due to conflicts in the Middle East, the UN has said, warning “the hopes of a generation” would be dashed if they cannot return to classrooms. In a report on the impact of conflict on education in six countries and territories across the region, the UN’s children fund UNICEF on Thursday said more than 8,850 schools were no longer usable due to violence.

 

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Congolese child soldiers to give evidence against ‘warlord’ Bosco Ntaganda at The Hague
September 1, 2015

(The Telegraph) – Scores of Congolese child soldiers are due to give evidence at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the coming weeks against a man nicknamed The Terminator and held up as one of Africa’s most brutal and feared warlords. Bosco Ntaganda, 41, a former rebel commander in the mineral-rich and restive northeastern province of Ituri in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, faces 18 charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity including the rape and abuse of women and child soldiers by his troops.

 

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Security Council condemns use of sexual violence as ‘tactic of war’ in Iraq and Syria
August 28, 2015

(UN News Centre) – The United Nations Security Council today condemned the use of sexual violence, in particular sexual enslavement and sexual violence “related to or resulting from forced marriage, committee, including as a tactic of war, in Syria and Iraq,” and urged all parties to armed conflict to take all feasible steps to protect civilians from such “abhorrent” acts.

 

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New release of children by armed group in Central African Republic brings total to more than 600 since May
August 28, 2015

(UNICEF) – An additional 163 children – including 5 girls – have been released by an armed group in the Central African Republic. The children were released by the anti-Balaka militia during a ceremony Friday in the town of Batangafo. Today’s handover, which was facilitated by UNICEF and the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), comes three months after 357 children were released following an agreement between the country’s 10 armed groups to release all children from their ranks.

 

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UNICEF announces release of 163 more children by armed group in Central African Republic
August 28, 2015

(UN News Centre) – The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) announced today that 163 children have been released by an armed group in the Central African Republic, where thousands of other boys and girls are still serving as combatants, cooks and messengers for the country’s militant factions. “This release is a sign that the process of implementing the commitment made by the leaders of these groups, as a part of the peace and reconciliation process, is on track,” UNICEF Representative in the Central African Republic (CAR) Mohamed Malick Fall said in a press release.

 

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Dispatches: Central Africa Republic off the Radar, but Killings Continue
August 27, 2015

(HRW) – The violence in the Central African Republic has fallen off the radar of the mainstream media, but that doesn’t mean the brutal killings have stopped. Over the last several days, sectarian violence between Muslim Seleka fighters and the anti-balaka militia who harbor hatred toward Muslims has left at least 12 civilians dead in and around Bambari, a main town in Ouaka province in the center of the country. It’s the latest example of ongoing and deadly tit-for-tat revenge killings.

 

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Yemen: Cluster Munition Rockets Kill, Injure Dozens
August 26, 2015

(HRW) – Saudi Arabia-led coalition forces appear to have used cluster munition rockets in at least seven attacks in Yemen’s northwestern Hajja governorate, killing and wounding dozens of civilians, Human Rights Watch said today. The attacks were carried out between late April and mid-July 2015. Cluster munitions caused civilian casualties both during the attacks, which may have been targeting Houthi fighters, and afterward, when civilians picked up unexploded submunitions that detonated. Coalition forces should immediately stop using cluster munitions due to the inevitable harm they cause to civilians, Human Rights Watch said. The United Nations Human Rights Council should create a commission of inquiry to investigate alleged serious laws-of-war violations by all parties to the armed conflict in Yemen since September 2014.

 

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