Islamist in Mali buys child soldiers

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Senior UN official report that Islamists rebels who have held part of Mali are increasing money from ransoms and drug trafficking as they are imposing Sharia law.

After a fact-finding visit to the country, Ivan Simonovic says the Islamic rebels are also buying child soldiers. They are paying $600 (£375) per child to the families. The UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic also highlighted on the human rights abuses there where women’s rights are mostly limited. He made mention of the collection of an alarming list of unmarried women who were pregnant or had bear children. More of these women were being forced into marriage and sold at a price of less than $1,000 as a wife .

Other women were then being resold in a disguise way for forceful prostitution. Simonovic told reporters at UN headquarters in New York that Human rights violations are becoming more regular and that Islamists had also imposed a radical version of the Sharia.
Information gotten from people travelling to and from northern Mali, where he said Islamists were imposing harsher punishments for crimes by the fact-finding mission say so far there had been three public executions, eight amputations and two floggings .

Mr Simonovic also added that there have been allegations of torture and inhuman prison conditions in southern Mali, where the government retains control.He urged authorities to investigate these cases if they expected UN help as Mali’s army tries to reclaim the north. A BBC’s report says the 15-member Security Council is giving the impression to be prepared in sponsoring an international intervention force in the country; under the right conditions. They would still have to pass a second resolution to green light the deployment and the resolution is not expected until late November at the earliest. The council members are deeply concerned about al-Qaeda linked extremists taking advantage of the chaos in northern Mali.

France has drawn up a UN Security Council resolution seeking a detailed plan within 30 days on an international military intervention in Mali in a bid to oust militants from the north. In the meantime, the draft resolution calls on UN member countries and organizations such as the European Union to begin training and equipping the Malian army, which is expected to take the lead in retaking the north. France hopes the resolution will be adopted in the coming days.

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