White House will continue to give military aid to countries with child soldiers

(RT)    A presidential determination announced by the White House on Monday will waive restrictions against aiding regimes that employ child soldiers and allow the United States to provide six African and Arab nations with military assistance.

The determination, authorized by President Barack Obama and addressed to Secretary of State John Kerry, says that it is in the national interest of the US to waive the application of a provision of the Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008 with respect to Chad, South Sudan and Yemen.

That provision, section 404(a), prohibits the US from providing assistance to or licensing the direct commercial sale of military equipment to the government of any country identified as having children under the age of 18 participating in armed operations.

Additionally, the White House has determined that it is in the best interest of the US if that prohibition is also waived in part with respect to the Democratic Republican of the Congo in order for America to continue providing International Military Education and Training (IMET) and nonlethal excess defense articles. The determination will also let the DRC receive licenses for direct commercial sales of nonlethal defense articles. The White House also said it is waiving sections of the CSPA so that the US can allow Somalia to buy nonlethal defense articles and receive IMET and the continued assistance from America under the Peacekeeping Operations authority “for logistical support and troop stipends.”


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