SEA: ‘ Rise of the Child Soldiers of Pakistan ‘

#AceNewsServices – PAKISTAN – October 11 – The phenomenon of “child soldiers” is not new to this globe. From the far western shores of Americas, to Africa and Asia, the world continues to witness the rise of soldiers that are mere children

' Child Soldiers of Pakistan '

‘ Child Soldiers of Pakistan ‘

The world is stunned beyond limits to see that humanity has fallen to this level in the exploitation of young innocent children as child recruits for fundamentalist agendas.

The use of child soldiers has spread to almost all the global armed conflict. Though an exact number is impossible to define, thousands of child soldiers are illegally serving in armed conflict around the world.

According to Do Something Org, many countries are allegedly reported on use of under-age soldiers, these include Afghanistan, Colombia, India, Iraq, Israel, Libya, Mali, Pakistan, Thailand, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, and more.

 I am sure many are already geared up with the anti-Pakistani stereotypes that deem that whole of Pakistan is a terrorist country and on this list,  I get this hatred towards Pakistan is a global trend but not many of you know the dynamics of child militia here. And am taking this opportunity to shed some light on various important areas.

Pakistan|Trending Local Child Soldiers issue

The growing phenomenon of child militants in Pakistan is a horrific reality, one mirrored in various conflicts throughout history. Young innocent children are targeted because they can be easily brain washed by militant groups.

The cycle of poverty, large family size and economic hardships are factors that leave vulnerable parents little choice but to send children in local madrassas as they are free of cost.   The constitution Article 25-A says the State shall provide free and compulsory education to children between ages of 5 to 16. However that’s not being followed as millions of children are out of school and our literary rate is appalling low at 48%.

"Madrasa" is the Arabic word for any type of educational institution, whether secular or religious.

“Madrasa” is the Arabic word for any type of educational institution, whether secular or religious.

Most people have no choice but to send their children to religious schools or madrassas as. Moreover, there are huge discrepancies because education in Pakistan is heavily influenced by religion and in recent times Wahabi agendas.

The main source of funding for these madrasa groups is coming from Saudi Arabia. In fact, this whole phenomenon that we are confronting, which Al Qaeda is a part of, is very closely associated with Saudi Arabia’s financial and religious projects for the Muslim world as a whole. Its in greater interests to keep Pakistani children stuck into poverty cycles as they serve a greater agenda, shame on Pakistani government for colluding against its own.

Local madrassas cater Pakistani children as well as international students who avail the lucrative scholarship fundings  from Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia. 

However coming back to Pakistan, the different militant groups including TTP, LeT and so on have been able to harness the young Pakistani children in scores through enticing tactics.

Local Militant Recruitment Mechanism

The militant have sinister agendas however on the forefront they are able to cajole and manipulate young children by reminding them the sufferings of the Muslim world and that they have to play a role in eradication of misery; through this jihad.

"Madrasa" is the Arabic word for any type of educational institution, whether secular or religious.

“Madrasa” is the Arabic word for any type of educational institution, whether secular or religious.

Upon meeting some under-age boy militants in Swat, I found out that for years they have attended the madrassas whose lecturers and mentors taught them things like ” The Pakistan Army is the ally of the Western capitalist world; they the  imperialists are all the enemies of Islam. The fight against them is justified; they are apostates, the friends of the infidels.”

The second message drummed into them is one which the world is facing today. The increasing intolerance towards Muslims and followers of faith Islam within their own regions and in the western world. Sadly this is capitalized upon very well by the militant groups. The young recruits are taught that they have to stand up against the helplessness of Muslim women, daughters and sisters that are getting dishonored by non-Muslims in Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine etc.

They also watch videos purportedly showing the killing of Muslims by non-Muslims in Afghanistan and the Middle East. Instructors tell them that a war is being waged against Islam.

' Child Soldiers Recruited by Saudi Arabia as Terrorists as young as five '

‘ Child Soldiers Recruited by Saudi Arabia as Terrorists as young as five ‘

That the western world is at war with Islam has given a trump card to Pakistan’s militants for this sort of radical enticement of vulnerable children.

These main themes in lectures are taught to in both the senior recruits camps (ages 16 and older) and junior ones (ages 7 to 15), all are centered on vengeance and the need to do something for the wronged Muslims.The children are completely isolated from the normal outside world.

The young would-be suicide bombers are also persuaded by the promise of Paradise. This is, I repeat a huge blasphemy against the real teachings for if have to view from Islamic point of view; suicide is strictly forbidden along with the killing of innocent persons. Allah, God is the author of life that has granted us the gift of life and we mere humans don’t have the authority to take it.

This using of innocent children by militancy has to stop now. But. The inability of the Pakistan army to meet internal security challenges effectively is a particularly worrying factor. Three generations of Pakistani children are suffering due to the impact of this futile jihadi indoctrination.

It is time to seriously put an end to this madness, before it consumes us within the dark abysses of hatred and destruction.I am so exhausted to waking up in the mornings with the first thought in mind,What the hell happened Pakistan? And then trying to fix it some how in my way.

Though, we can’t bring back the already dead Pakistani children militants and can hardly ease the misery of the grieving parents, it is time for Pakistan to asses the complex root causes behind this phenomenon and design solutions for protection of children from becoming part of militancy.

Say No To Use of Child Soldiers. NOW. Download PDF 

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SEA: Related News: DO Something NOW 

Pakistan|Child Soldiers A Growing Asset For Radicals

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MALI: ‘ United Nations Peace-Keeper Killed in Rocket Attack on Joint UN-French Military Base ‘

#AceNewsServices – October 08 – At least one United Nations peace-keeper was killed in a rocket attack on a joint UN-French military base in the northern Malian town of Kidal on Tuesday, a spokesman for the UN mission said.

Olivier Salgado, a spokesman for the UN force, known as MINUSMA, said between six and eight rockets had been fired at the camp.

“One MINUSMA soldier was killed in the attack,” Salgado said, without giving details on the nationality of the peacekeeper. There were no initial reports of casualties among the French forces from the rocket fire.

It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the attack, but Islamist militants operating in Mali’s vast desert north have stepped up attacks on foreign forces in recent weeks. Nine UN peacekeepers were killed in an ambush last Friday.

UN peacekeepers were deployed across northern Mali in an effort to secure the country after separatists and Islamist forces took advantage of a power vacuum created by a coup in the capital in 2012 to seize the north.

The Islamists were scattered by French forces early last year and elections have since been held. But there has been a marked increase in attacks in recent months as France moved its focus away from Mali towards a regional security mission.

Source: (FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)

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AIR ALGERIE AH5017: ' Hezbollah Leader and French Military Were On-Board at Time of Crash '

#AceWorldNews – ALGIERS – July 27 – According to latest information that either 116 or 118 people on board the Air Algerie flight AH5017 which crashed in the restive northern Mali, at least 33 French military personnel including three senior intelligence officials and a Lebanese Hezbollah leader were present, it has emerged reported IBTimes

Even as the Algerian authorities have asserted that the real cause of the crash could be established only after a thorough investigation, they have not ruled out a terror attack either.

The exact number of people present in the aircraft, a McDonnell Douglas-83, is still unclear – whether it was 116 or 118.

But the local daily Echorouk, citing sources, said there were French troops on board.

There were at least 19 Lebanese passengers and some of them were dual citizens, including an alleged senior Hezbollah figure, who was disguised as a businessman.

A team of Lebanese experts is also on its way to Mali to assist the ongoing investigation.

Meanwhile, militants from the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MOJWA), locally known as Tawhid and Jihad in West Africa, are said to be stationed near the crash site, which is not far from their stronghold.

The al-Qaeda-inspired outfit is believed to be holding an arsenal of missiles in its possession which were smuggled from Libya.

However, experts have firmly ruled out any ground-to-air attack that brought down the plane.

But speculation over a criminal incident linked to explosives inside the Burkina Faso-Algiers flight has also surfaced.

"We rule out — and have from the start — any ground strike," French junior transport minister Frédéric Cuvillier told France Two television.

#ANS2014

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‘ Francois Hollande Promotes New Military Operation Being Rolled-Out in West Africa ‘

Regions of Burkina Faso.

Regions of Burkina Faso. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

#AceWorldNews – FRANCE (Paris) – July 19 – French President Francois Hollande on Friday promoted a new military operation being rolled out in West Africa to take on a multi-faceted menace from Islamist groups that he warned threatened France’s interests and citizens reported Reuters. 

France led a military intervention in its former colony Mali last year, halting the advance of al Qaeda-linked fighters who had seized control of the northern two-thirds of the country in 2012.

The military operation succeeded in scattering the Islamist groups in Mali, and Paris is in the process of reorganising its deployment in the region, with its 1,700 soldiers in Mali being folded into a broader counter-terrorism force.

Under the new plan, some 3,000 French troops will now operate out of Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad – countries straddling the vast arid Sahel band – with the aim of stamping out an Islamist threat across the region.

“There are threats, notably from Libya. Military hardware has accumulated there, and without a doubt, terrorists are seeking refuge there,” Hollande said in Niger during a three-day trip that will also take him to Ivory Coast and Chad.

“We have, therefore, decided to put in place structures and measures that will allow us to confront this threat of terrorism in the Sahel,” he said.

#ANS2014

 

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#UK & #France : “Prepare to `Sign Drone Deal’ to `Free Themselves’ from the US Manufacturer’s”

#AceNewsServices says `Entente Lethal: Britain, France to sign military drone development deal’ according to RT.

Published time: January 30, 2014 14:05
Edited time: January 30, 2014 15:00
The unmanned Euro Hawk plane (AFP/DPA)

The unmanned Euro Hawk plane (AFP/DPA)

Britain and France are set to develop a new generation of armed drones which will free them of their dependence on US-manufactured unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

President Francois Hollande will arrive in Britain on Friday for a summit with David Cameron at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire. The two leaders, flanked by their foreign, defense, and energy ministers, are set to ink multiple deals for developing combat drones, missile systems and submarines. There are also plans to establish a joint expeditionary force which will be applicable for a wide range of scenarios, including high intensity operations.

Friday’s summit stems from the Lancaster House Treaties of 2010, in which Cameron and thenFrench President Nickolas Sarkozy agreed on a raft of measures in defense and security cooperation.

The UK currently operates its unmanned aerial vehicle program out of the United States due to restrictions for using the craft in European airspace. France, meanwhile, has bought drones from US-based General Atomics for its year-long military operation in Mali.

A Downing Street source told The Independent it is clear that unmanned combat systems such as drones are “where defense technology was going.” He added that UAVs are an “essential piece of kit” for both British and French forces.

Political Analyst Chris Bambery told RT that France and Britain’s decision to jointly ramp up their drone capabilities was seemingly inevitable given their place in the geopolitical order.

“Where the Americans go, the British and French need to follow, because [they] are essentially the American attack dogs in Europe. They’re the only two European powers who have the military capability that the Americans can sometimes use. If the Americans are investing in drones, inevitably, Britain and France is going to do the same.”

Last year, Britain and France agreed to launch a study into the feasibility of jointly developing drone technologies. Friday’s agreement is expected to push things forward, though the unmanned vehicles will not begin rolling out for at least three years.

British firm BAE Systems, Europe’s biggest defence company, is already working with France’s Dassault Aviation, the maker of French Rafale fighter jets, on drone development. Rolls Royce is also expected to be involved in the project.

Last month, all 28 EU member states agreed to cooperate on building surveillance drones to compete with US- and Israeli-made unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) that now dominate the skies.

The drones are expected to be produced after 2020.

 

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More than 11 Million People are at Risk of Hunger and 5 Million Children under Five are at Risk of Acute Malnutrition

Destructive root harvesting for traditional me...

Destructive root harvesting for traditional medicine. In the Sahel sub-Saharan savanna region, near Fada N’Gourma, Burkina Faso. Français : Récolte des racines par arrachage, pour les besoins de la médecine traditionnelle. Image prise près de Fada N’Gourma, au Burkina Faso. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim announced today they are teaming up for a trip to the Sahel next week to address pressing issues in the vast African region such as pervasive poverty, food insecurity and conflict.

“The Sahel is one of the most impoverished and fragile places on the planet,” said Mr. Ban in a  “http://www.un.org/sg/offthecuff/index.asp?nid=3155” joint press conference in New York. “We are going together to listen and act. We are convinced the cycle of crises in the Sahel can be broken. The region can move from fragility to sustainability.”

Earlier this year, Mr. Ban and Mr. Kim travelled together to Africa’s long troubled Great Lakes region in support of a new peace framework agreed by leaders there. It was the first joint visit by a UN Secretary-General and a President of the World Bank. The new trip seeks to build on joint efforts, foster international support, and spotlight the challenges currently facing the Sahel.

“Our message on this critical visit and around the world is that peace and development must go hand-in-hand,” Mr. Ban said. “At this time last year, Mali was in crisis. Since then, our collective efforts have helped not only improve the political and security situation in Mali but also address some of the broader challenges in the Sahel. The time is ripe to build on these gains.”

The Sahel has suffered three major droughts in less than a decade. More than 11 million people are at risk of hunger and 5 million children under five are at risk of acute malnutrition. In addition, political instability and unconstitutional changes in Governments have had significant economic and social consequences in the region and terrorist acts, as well as organized crime, have threatened the region’s stability.

“These challenges cannot be overcome by any Government or organization alone,” Mr. Ban said. “The issues are connected and we need an approach that connects our efforts.”

“Many of these countries have chronically low economic growth which lags behind the urgent need for job creation,” Mr. Kim told reporters via teleconference from Washington D.C. “We need to work together so that people of the Sahel can have peace and development.”

Huts in the village of Dourtenga, departement ...

Huts in the village of Dourtenga, departement of Dourtenga, province of Koulpélogo in Burkina Faso (West Africa). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He stressed that the World Bank’s new approach to the Sahel will entail working side by side with the region’s Governments, the UN and other development partners and will promote greater stability, resilience and sustainable development in the five core countries of the region: Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.

“Our aim is to address the root causes of poverty, conflict and helplessness. As a part of this new approach, the World Bank will mobilize substantial public and private sources in support. We’ll help strengthen social safety nets for people, lower the cost of energy and increase support for irrigation and pastoralism, as well transform the state of agriculture in the region,” Mr. Kim said.

The Sahel stretches from Mauritania to Eritrea, including Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Sudan, a belt dividing the Sahara desert and the savannahs to the south. The joint visit will start from Mali and continue to Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad.

Mr. Ban and Mr. Kim will be joined by Mr. Ban’s Special Envoy to the region, Romano Prodi, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, President of the African Development Bank Donald Kaberuka, and Commissioner for Development of the European Union Andris Piebalgs.

Courtesy of :UN News Room  

 

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