UN Report: Africa Has Highest Number Of Child Soldiers

by The Chicago Times Staff

November 23, 2021

NEW YORK – According to a UN report, minors in West and Central Africa are the most likely to be recruited by armed organizations and they also have the highest number of victims of sexual abuse.

In a report released Tuesday by the United Nations Children’s Fund, the region has seen a rise in conflicts over the last five years, with over 21,000 minors recruited by government troops and armed organizations.  The report also states that 2,200 minors in the region have been victims of sexual abuse since 2016.

According to the report, since 2005, when the United Nations developed a mechanism to monitor and report on major breaches against minors such as recruitment, abduction, rape, and attacks on schools and hospitals, West and Central Africa has committed one out of every four violations internationally.

CONGO MILITARY ACCUSED OF TORTURING HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER TO DEATH

by H. Haverstock, The Chicago Times

November 1, 2021

LÉOPOLDVILLE, CONGO — The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s military has been accused by the United Nation of brutally murdering a human rights activist who was protesting illegal taxes in the country’s war-torn east.

Cabral Yombo, the leader of a civil society group in Hombo town, was killed by soldiers acting on the alleged orders of local administrative officials, according to the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office (UNJHRO).

Army General Célestin Mbala Munsense declined to comment when asked about the situation.

The Partnership for Integrated Protection (PIP) released a statement that Yombo was tortured on Friday and died of his injuries on Sunday in a hospital located in Costermansstad (Ville du Bukavu).

51 KILLED IN MALI VILLAGE RAIDS

by H. Haverstock, The Chicago Times

August 9, 2021

KAROU — 51 people were killed when Islamist militants raided three villages in central Mali near the border with Niger on Monday.

Around 6 p.m., Ouatagouna, Karou, and Deouteguef were all attacked at the same time.

according to a note from the Asongo district administrator to the governor of Gao region on Sunday.  The UN mission in Mali said it would deploy more troops to secure the areas where the attacks occurred and intensify existing patrols.  There have been reports of houses destroyed and livestock stolen.

Islamist groups linked to the Islamic State have been battling UN peacekeeping forces in the region.  Currently there are Malian and European forces on the ground supporting UN peacekeeping efforts.

According to a UN statement: “These deliberate attacks against civilian populations are serious violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law . . . they could be considered crimes against humanity.”

According to reports, Islamist militants positioned themselves at the towns’ entrances and fired indiscriminately on civilians.

According to the administrator, Malian troops are sweeping the area.

According to the note, he also requested a military escort to “assist with funerals, reassure the populations, and offer condolences to the bereaved families.”

Colonel Souleymane Dembele, Mali’s army spokesman, confirmed the attacks but provided no further details.  However, Malian troops are patrolling the zone in an effort to protect local residents.

12 GERMAN SOLDIERS WOUNDED IN MALI ATTACK

by The Chicago Times Staff

June 26, 2021

BERLIN — In an attack in Mali’s restive north, 12 German troops and a Belgian soldier serving in the UN peacekeeping mission were wounded. 

Three of the soldiers were seriously injured, according to German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer.  Two soldiers are in stable condition, while a third was still undergoing surgery.  All of the wounded soldiers were flown by helicopter to Gao, where they were treated at German, French, and Chinese medical facilities. A German medevac plane will fly to Gao overnight on Saturday to transport the wounded soldiers back to Germany.

Hundreds of German soldiers are stationed in the West African country as part of UN stabilization and European Union training missions.  Since 2012, Mali has been battling an Islamic extremist insurgency.