President Barak Obama was perfectly aware of the grave Human Trafficking issues, especially for children, in Yemen – there are many, many reports by U.S. government agencies – some posted HERE
President Barak Obama was equally aware that children are trafficked into the Saleh Regime forces – as shown our previous post HERE.
“children have been conscripted into official (Yemeni) government armed forces – as well as into government-allied tribal militias”
These are not simple observations, but facts documented by U.S Foreign Office, Senate, USAID and other government reports. Reports which the United States President surely was aware of and just as surely chose to ignore when for the second consecutive year, he waived a Congressionally-mandated ban on military aid to four countries known to entrap and exploit child soldiers.
Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Yemen, and the newly independent nation of South Sudan will receive more than 200 million dollars in US military aid in 2012. The US Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008, which took effect in 2010, bans the government from providing military resources and aid to countries that recruit soldiers younger than 18, but it also allows a presidential waiver in cases of “the national interest.” – called 404. (see Presidential waiver document HERE)
So here we have a President of a democratic country, who has decided to make an exception of Yemen. It is of National Interest. He has decided to turn a blind eye on the regime’s shocking track record in stamping out slavery and Human trafficking.
Not only turn a blind eye. – by his presidential waiver, he has decided to reward the Yemeni regime with a little number – 1206 – Section 1206 of the United States National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), provides the Secretary of Defense with authority to train and equip foreign military forces for two specified purposes—counterterrorism and stability operations.
“Equip and train” the Yemeni army.
That very same army into which children had been trafficked and forced to fight not only an a babble of grumpy radicals and a variety of hand-picked personal enemies of Yemen’s President – but also those very people who might make their short lives seem much less hopeless – those who are fighting for a brighter future – Yemen’s pro-democratic Youth.