Recruitment in Somalia and UN Security Council sanctions, al Qaeda cartoon, and more
Aug 12, 2011 at 10:07 am
UN envoy welcomes step on sanctions against violators of children in Somalia, UN News Centre, August 2, 2011. On Tuesday, the UN envoy advocating for the rights of the child during armed conflict embraced the Security Council's decision to apply sanctions against any individuals or entities that violate children's rights. The available sanctions include travel bans, arms embargos, and asset freezes. The UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Children in Armed Conflict hailed the decision as "one step closer to ending impunity of the worst violators of children in war" and urged all partners working in child protection "to redouble their efforts to gather reliable information on grave violations against children." The full article is available here.
Somali Islamic Militias Recruit Child Soldiers, Amnesty International Says, Bloomberg, July 19, 2011. Amnesty International reported that the "systematic recruitment of children" by Islamic militias in southern and central Somalia is increasing. According to Amnesty, many of these child soldiers are under 15 years old. The full article is available here.
Conflict generating more child soldiers, Yemen Times, July 25, 2011. According to child rights advocates, both pro-government and defecting units of the Yemen army have increased their recruitment of children. While the exact number of child soldiers in unknown due to the refusal of military authorities to provide such information, local NGO Seyaj Organization for Childhood Protection (SOCP) estimates it to be several thousand. SOCP chairman Ahmad al-Qurashi added that 50 percent of pro-government fighters and al-Houthi (rebel) gunmen in the Sa'dah governorate were found to be younger than age 18. Regarding the prevalence of fake IDs, a recruitment officer at the Ministry of Defense acknowledged that some recruits look younger than the age on their ID cards, but added that the ID card is "the only reliable document for determining the age of an applicant." The full article is available here.
Taliban Blamed in Death of Afghan Officer's 8-Year-Old-Son, The New York Times, July 24, 2011. In a perverse act of violence, kidnappers believed to be Taliban strangled to death the son of a police officer in southern Afghanistan after the father, Mohammed Daoud, refused to give them his police truck. Daoud received a call requesting the truck in exchange for the boy, but had not yet realized that his son was missing. When he returned home, his wife and daughters informed him that his son had been kidnapped and, several days later, the police found the 8-year-old dead. Although the Taliban has denied responsibility for the young boy's murder, Daoud received a call from the Taliban, again demanding the truck, on the same day that his son's body was found. The full article is available here [subscription required].
Al Qaeda Children's Cartoon Might Be Group's Newest Propaganda Tool, The Huffington Post, July 20, 2011. Security specialists reported that al Qaeda sympathizers are developing a children's cartoon film to encourage viewers to join in armed violence against the West. British counter-extremism think tank Quilliam said that a contributor to a password-protected Arabic-language online discussion forum announced the planned movie, posted stills showing "masked figurers firing rifles and executing captives," and stated that the cartoon would show "operations surrounding real events . . . including incursions, clashes, and assassinations." IPT News has reported that the media wing of Al-Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is responsible for the cartoon, calling the effort "an attempt to make kid-friendly propaganda that will replace prevalent Western media." The full article is available here.