HEADLINES

Africa: Child Soldiers Released by Armed Groups Learn To Play Again

By Donaig Le Du, July 13, 2015. The Huffington Post.

Kenya Children learn to be children again Kakuma refugee camp, Kenya. Visit to Kakuma refugee camp during the filming trip of film-maker Gerry Straub. Shows new arrivals section at Kakuma with UNHCR emergency tents. January 2012.

Children Learn to Be Children Again.

After Release by Armed Groups. In the transit center for children formerly associated with armed groups, in Bambari, Central African Republic, Jonathan* a 16-year-old boy, is sitting on the floor and going through a big bag full of ‘jujus’ – necklaces, armbands and little pouches.”This amulet used to protect me against Kalashnikov bullets. This other one made me invisible to the enemy,” he says. Other children circle around him, amazed to see that he is sharing these secrets with foreigners. Then Jonathan grabs a knife and rips open one of the amulets. A murmur erupts from the crowd. He looks up, smiles, and says: “we are safe now. We do not need these anymore.”

The bags of amulets that children released from the Anti-Balaka group brought to the transit centre. ©Unicef CAR/2015/Le Du

The bags of amulets that children released from the Anti-Balaka group brought to the transit centre. (Photo: Unicef CAR/ 2015/ Le Du)

I was present when these children were released some two months ago by one of the armed groups involved in a conflict that has displaced hundreds of thousands of people in the Central African Republic. They had been with the Anti-Balaka armed group, which was created as a “self-defense” militia against the mostly Muslim Ex-Seleka group that briefly seized power in 2013 in CAR.

I was present when these children were released some two months ago by one of the armed groups involved in a conflict that has displaced hundreds of thousands of people in the Central African Republic. They had been with the Anti-Balaka armed group, which was created as a “self-defense” militia against the mostly Muslim Ex-Seleka group that briefly seized power in 2013 in CAR.

Children associated with the Anti-Balaka group

Back in May, children associated with the Anti-Balaka group, stand in a clearing, minutes before their release. (Photo: Unicef CAR / 2015 / Le Du)

On May 14, in Bambari, a town located in the center of CAR, the two groups released a total of 357 children who had been serving in their ranks. The children from the Anti-Balaka and Ex-Seleka were released the same day but sent to different transit centers. Although at peace now, Bambari is still very much a frontline town, with a river dividing the city. Communities are just beginning to cross the bridge during daytime to go to the markets, but at dusk everyone goes back to their side of the river.

On the day of the release, we went down into the forest, as close as we could get to their base, in order to escort the children symbolically, up the hill, to freedom. It was a hot and humid afternoon. The commander, dressed in a ripped Bob Marley t-shirt, was waiting for us in the clearing. Around him stood 181 children in rags, some of them as young as six- or seven-years-old, in traditional camouflage made of leaves, their faces covered in black mud. They were silent.

To read the rest of this article By Donaig Le Du click on the link below.

Huffington Post: After Release by Armed Groups, Children Learn to Be Children

Click Picture for a Popular Article

  • Painted on the side of a building in Bristol, southwest England - home of the celebrated graffiti artist Banksy - the image reprises a 1979 photograph of Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and East German President Erich Honecker kissing, which was later turned into a mural on the Berlin Wall. It was commissioned by pro-EU campaign group "We are Europe" as what they call a warning of things to come if Britons vote to leave the 28-member bloc on June 23, as advocated by both Johnson and Trump, the presumptive Republican candidate in November's U.S. presidential election. Johnson is the "Out" campaign's best-known leader and Trump has said Britain would be "better off without" the EU, which he has blamed for Europe's migration crisis.
  • Yemen is the poorest country in the Arabian peninsula, with more than 40 percent of people living below the poverty line Reuters
  • Yemen woman in bright scarf and hat, "War humiliated my daughter." Aunt Khemissa argument.
  • The Liberals are on the defensive after court documents released earlier this month revealed that Mr. Dion, not Stephen Harper’s Conservatives, signed the export permits to allow seventy-percent (70%) of the transaction to ship to Saudi Arabia. Many observers had assumed the Conservatives had granted export permits when they signed the deal. trudeau speaking"The Liberal signature on the export permits means that the Liberal government has taken full ownership of a decision to sell arms to a country notorious for human-rights abuses.
  • The remnants of a US drone strike on August 29, 2012 in Khashamir, Yemen. The strike killed three alleged members of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a policeman, and a cleric who preached against the armed group.
  • A 29-year-old woman who was raped in October 2015 by peacekeepers stationed in Bambari, Central African Republic. © 2015 Lewis Mudge/Human Rights Watch
  • A malnourished child lies on a weighing machine at a therapeutic feeding Centre at Al Sabyeen hospital in Sana’a. (Reuters)
  • UNICEF estimates nearly 400 children have been killed and over 600 injured in the past four months in the country, the poorest in the Middle East. 13 Yemeni teaching staff and four children were killed by a Saudi air strike on August 20. Two days before, coalition bombing in the Amran province took the lives of 17 civilians, injuring 20 more. UNICEF condemned what it called the “senseless bloodshed.” A Red Cross spokeswoman said the violence in Ta’iz, in southern Yemen, in just one day on August 21 left 80 people dead.
  • Faces of the women who had their lives cut short by Pickton.
  • Fatik Abdullah al-Rodaini, a Yemeni Journalist and humanitarian worker
  • The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is amongst 17 organizations and two individuals that sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry today (January 5, 2016) urging him to press Saudi Arabian King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to halt the execution of Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr and several other demonstrators from the country’s marginalized Eastern Province. On October 24 2015, the Saudi Supreme Court ratified the death sentence issued to Sheikh Nimr in October 2014. Since September, the Saudi criminal justice system has also ratified the death sentences of Ali al-Nimr, Dawood al-Marhoon, and Abdullah al-Zaher, three men arrested as minors in 2012 for their protest activity.
  • Journalist Deniz Yücel, along with four others, have been jailed pending trial on charges of propaganda in support of a terrorist organisation and inciting the public to violence.

Click Picture for a Popular Cartoon

  • In episode two he addresses the assassination of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and the humanitarian catastrophe in the impoverished Republic of Yemen. Minhaj warns America to reconsider their attitude toward Saudi Arabian crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.
  • Nicki 'Minnie' Minaj
  • GOP Caption winner first place on AlistairReignBlog.com
  • Donald Trump and a Cheshire cat have the same smug smile.
  • Trump Trudeau State Dinner.
  • The Donalds invade Washington Caption This photo winner 1The Donalds invade Washington Caption This photo winner 1
  • When cartoons turn into people

Start a Conversation or Write a Caption This joke.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.