U.N. Remains Helpless Watching Rising Deaths of Children in War Zone
August 20, 2015

(Inter Press Services) – The rising death toll of civilians, specifically women and children, in ongoing military conflicts is generating strong messages of condemnation from international institutions and human rights organisations – with the United Nations remaining helpless as killings keep multiplying. The worst offenders are warring parties in “the world’s five most conflicted countries”, namely Syria, Iraq, South Sudan, Central African Republic (CAR), and most horrifically, Yemen, where civilian casualties have been rising almost by the hour.The 1949 Geneva Convention, which governs the basic rules of war, has also continued to be violated in conflicts in Afghanistan, Libya, Gaza, Nigeria, Myanmar, Somalia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), among other military hotspots.

 

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Countries Delay UN Plan to Name Those Accused of Sex Abuse
August 20, 2015

(AP) – The United Nations is rejecting growing pressure to name countries whose peacekeepers face sexual abuse accusations in Central African Republicagainst children as young as 11, keeping silent because member states have delayed the U.N. chief’s plan to identify alleged perpetrators. The U.N. General Assembly in June adopted a resolution that in part singled out Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s intention to name countries when sexual abuse allegations are credible. The resolution asked Ban to “engage in consultations with member states, in particular troop-contributing countries” over reporting such cases.

 

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Iraq’s child soldiers
August 20, 2015

(Al-Monitor)- The world has borne witness to countless crimes committed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria over the past year. Iraqi and Syrian children have not been spared from these atrocities. Several reports by international human rights organizations have documented IS’ use of children for suicide operations, executing prisoners, guerrilla warfare and also as human shields.While IS, as the main Sunni militant group in Iraq, is brainwashing children and young people to fight Shiites, largely Shiite forces such as the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units are reportedly also training child soldiers to fight Sunni extremists, including IS.

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3 Peacekeepers Accused of Rape in Central African Republic
August 19, 2015

(New York Times) – In the latest in a series of sexual abuse allegations against United Nations peacekeepers in the Central African Republic, the families of two women and one girl under the age of 18 have accused three peacekeepers of rape, the United Nations announced Wednesday. The families came forward on Aug. 12, the same day that the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, ousted his mission chief in the Central African Republic over numerous sexual abuse claims. It is unclear when the three alleged attacks took place.

 

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UN reports new allegations of sexual misconduct by peacekeepers in Central African Republic
August 19, 2015

(UN News Centre) – A series of new “disturbing” allegations of misconduct in the Central African Republic were announced today by the Deputy Special Representative and Deputy Head of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the country (MINUSCA). “These new allegations relate to a case where three young females – including one minor –were victims of rape by members of a MINUSCA military contingent. The Mission was informed of these allegations on August 12 2015 by the families of the three women,” explained Diane Corner during a press conference from Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic (CAR).

 

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UN troops accused of 3 rapes in Central African Republic
August 19, 2015

(AP) – Three young females, including a minor, have accused United Nations peacekeepers of raping them in the Central African Republic, the U.N. announced Wednesday, just a week after the world body’s chief removed the head of the peacekeeping mission there over the handling of a series of similar allegations. The U.N. said the alleged rapes occurred in the city of Bambari, where peacekeepers from the Congo are stationed.

 

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Yemen Conflict: Over a thousand child casualties so far
August 19, 2015

(UNICEF) – An average of eight children are being killed or maimed every day in Yemen as a direct result of the conflict gripping the country, according to a report released by UNICEF.  Yemen: Childhood Under Threat says that nearly 400 children have been killed and over 600 others injured since the violence escalated some four months ago. Disrupted health services, increased levels of child malnutrition, closed schools and higher numbers of children recruited by fighting groups are among the effects of the conflict now ravaging the Arab world’s poorest country. “This conflict is a particular tragedy for Yemeni children”, said UNICEF Representative in Yemen, Julien Harneis. “Children are being killed by bombs or bullets and those that survive face the growing threat of disease and malnutrition.

 

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Statement by Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director on attack on teachers’ office in Yemen
August 19, 2015

(UNICEF) – Last night, 13 educators and four of their children paid a most terrible price in the continuing conflict in Yemen – killed in an airstrike on a teachers’ office in Amran, just north of Sana’a. Twenty people, including one child, were injured. The latest casualties inflicted by all sides. The educators were gathered together to prepare exams for thousands of children who had missed the end of their school year because of this brutal conflict. Working after hours, they had brought their children with them, some of whom were playing outside when the bomb exploded. A selfless activity, turned in a moment into senseless bloodshed.

 

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UN mission vows full investigation into allegations of abuse by peacekeepers in Central African Republic
August 17, 2015

(UN News Centre) – The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) said today that it is determined to investigate fully all allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse by its forces in the country and to hold to account perpetrators of such acts. During the regular press briefing at UN Headquarters in New York, spokesperson Vannina Maestracci said, “investigations into recent allegations of sexual assault on a minor and killings by UN forces in Bangui are ongoing.”

 

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CHILD SOLDIER NO MORE
August 17, 2015

(ROADS & KINGDOMS)- When we got to Pibor, children were everywhere. And they were armed. The ceremony was about to begin. I had traveled with UNICEF to Jonglei State in South Sudan to observe and document one of the largest demobilizations of child soldiers ever. The event had been organized after militants from the so-called “Cobra Faction” had announced they would hand over 3,000 minors who fought in their ranks. There were 280 children in front of us. I was told I could not photograph their faces. Aged 11 to 17, some had been fighting for up to four years and many had never attended school. According to UNICEF, over 12,000 children have been recruited and used as soldiers by armed groups in the country this past year.

 

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