Obama waives ban on aiding regimes that use child soldiers

2003_DRC_ChildSoldiersBy JOEL GEHRKE

President Obama determined that it is once again in the national interest of the United States to waive a provision of a law against aiding regimes that use child soldiers to provide non-lethal assistance and peace-keeping support to several African countries.

By law, the president has to notify Congress that he is waiving the Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008 within 45 days of making the decision. Obama’s press team published the presidential determination on Monday afternoon, with Congress on the eve of a government shutdown.

The Child Soldiers Prevention Act waiver applies fully to Chad, South Sudan and Yemen. Congo and Somalia received partial waivers.

Obama first waived the provision in 2010. Samantha Power, then the National Security Council senior director for multilateral affairs and human rights, promised “at the time that the waivers would not become a recurring event,” as The Cable recalled.

“Our judgment was: Brand them, name them, shame them, and then try to leverage assistance in a fashion to make this work,” Power said. “Our judgment is we’ll work from inside the tent.”

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