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Child Soldiers

October 18, 2011 | Jonah Goldberg
Weirdest Friday news dump ever. Very late in the day on Oct. 14, the Obama administration released a lot of politically problematic information, including the news that the deficit for 2011 hit $1.3 trillion (the second biggest ever, after 2009) and that it's abandoning the CLASS Act, one of the more expensive and unwieldy appendages of "Obamacare. " One other thing: The White House announced we're putting boots on the ground in sub-Saharan Africa. President Obama notified Congress that he's sending about 100 combat-equipped troops to advise African forces on how best to kill or capture (but hopefully kill)
November 3, 2010 | By Carol J. Williams, Times Staff Writer
At first glance, the military trials of terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay appear to be winding down. One prisoner recently pleaded guilty to murder and other charges, and just one more, Noor Uthman Mohammed of Sudan, is charged with war crimes for alleged complicity with Al Qaeda. Of nearly 800 terrorism suspects brought to this remote U.S. base in southern Cuba over nearly nine years, 174 remain, most because of diplomatic troubles between Washington and their home countries rather than out of concern they would pose a security threat if freed.
October 31, 2010 | By Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times
A military jury deliberated more than five hours Saturday on the fate of former child soldier Omar Khadr, who has pleaded guilty to killing a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan when he was 15 years old. Khadr, now 24, has already been promised a limited sentence as part of a plea deal he agreed to Monday that would require him to spend one more year in U.S. custody in Guantanamo Bay. He would then be eligible to petition his native Canada for repatriation and...
October 26, 2010 | By Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times
A former child soldier from Canada was convicted of war crimes Monday, the fifth prisoner brought to justice by military commissions since the controversial tribunal was created nearly nine years ago ? the others being a cook, a propagandist, a driver and a onetime kangaroo skinner. Omar Khadr, now a tall and burly 24-year-old, pleaded guilty to five charges, including the murder of U.S. special forces soldier Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer while fighting at age 15 with hardened Al Qaeda militants in Afghanistan with whom his father had apprenticed him in 2002.
October 25, 2010 | By Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times
A young Canadian terrorism suspect accepted a plea deal Monday that will make him eligible to leave Guantanamo Bay prison in a year, sparing the Obama administration the spectacle of putting the first child soldier on trial for war crimes in modern times. Officials of the controversial military commission kept secret the length of the sentence agreed to for Omar Ahmed Khadr, who was 15 when he was captured in Afghanistan after a firefight between Al Qaeda militants and U.S. special forces in July 2002.
August 10, 2010 | By Richard A. Serrano, Tribune Washington Bureau
The youngest prisoner at the U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is scheduled to stand trial Tuesday on allegations of killing a U.S. soldier and partially blinding another, and the outcome probably will spark renewed international debate over the practice of incarcerating and prosecuting child soldiers. Eight years a captive at the prison for terrorism suspects, Omar Ahmed Khadr, 23, released a letter through his lawyers this spring warning that if the Obama administration takes him to trial in a military tribunal, it could reveal "what is going on down here.
October 25, 2009 | Krishan Francis, Francis writes for the Associated Press.
Vinojan's boyhood ended when Sri Lanka's civil war reignited. He was 15, he says, when he joined the separatist Tamil Tigers to save his older brother from forcible conscription, becoming a reluctant fighter in the rebels' last, desperate battles for survival. Now, having won the war, Sri Lanka is trying to make patriotic citizens out of child soldiers such as Vinojan and others who just months ago were fighting against government troops. Vinojan, who nurses a dark scar on his wrist from a shrapnel wound, is just trying to reclaim what is left of an adolescence cut short.
July 15, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
Ending three years of silence, former Liberian President Charles Taylor began building his defense against war crimes charges, portraying himself as a peacemaker rather than the brutal warlord described by prosecutors. "I am not guilty of all these charges, not even a minute part of these charges," he said from the witness stand, raising his voice in anger. "This whole case is a case of deceit, deception and lies." Taylor is charged with 11 counts of murder, torture, rape, sexual slavery and the use of child soldiers and terrorism in his role backing rebels in Sierra Leone's 1991-2002 civil war. Taylor's testimony is expected to last several weeks.
June 27, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
Ugandan rebels this year have killed about 1,200 Congolese civilians and abducted 1,500, mostly children, in a remote region of northeast Congo, a U.N. official said. Fighting between government forces and the Lord's Resistance Army rebels has driven 220,000 other Congolese from their homes in the Haut-Uele region, said Ross Mountain, the U.N. chief's deputy special representative to the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Lord's Resistance Army is notorious for reportedly torturing, raping and mutilating civilians.
January 27, 2009 | Laurie Goering
Thomas Lubanga, a Congolese militia leader facing charges of recruiting child soldiers to rape and kill, on Monday became the first defendant to go on trial at the International Criminal Court at The Hague. The court is the world's first permanent venue to prosecute war crimes, genocide and other major crimes against humanity. Cases such as these have mostly been tried at temporary courts, from Nuremberg, Germany, to more recent U.N.
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