Obama waiver allows U.S. aid to 4 countries using child soldiers

Change we can believe in?

From The Washington Post:

President Obama has granted a waiver allowing four countries to continue receiving U.S. military aid even though they use child soldiers, officials said Wednesday………

Obama sent a memo to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, dated Monday, saying that it was “in the national interest” to waive a cutoff of military assistance for Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and Yemen.

Those countries would have been penalized under the Child Soldiers Prevention Act, which was signed into law by President George W. Bush shortly before he left office. The law took effect this year, after the State Department identified six countries that used government soldiers – including Somalia and Burma.

Senior U.S. officials said Wednesday that Yemen was exempted because ending military aid would jeopardize the country’s ability to fight al-Qaeda. In Sudan, U.S. military assistance will be critical in helping the unstable southern part of the country build military institutions if it votes to secede in a January referendum, as expected, officials said.


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