Iraq

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Thu
21
Apr

Sierra Leone 'Helped Deploy Ex-Child Soldiers to Iraq', Academic Says

London — Sierra Leone's government helped British private security service firms recruit former child soldiers to work as guards in Iraq from 2009, said a Danish academic who has spent years investigating the issue.

Thousands of children were forced to fight in Sierra Leone's 11-year civil war, which ended in 2002. More than 50,000 people were killed in the fighting and many tens of thousands more mutilated or raped by rebels.

By 2009, with Iraq in chaos, impoverished Sierra Leone was looking for a way to engage its workforce, said Maya Mynster Christensen, a researcher at the Danish Institute Against Torture who made repeated trips to the West African country.

Tue
19
Apr

UK firm 'employed former child soldiers' as mercenaries in Iraq

By Alice Ross, The Guardian

A former senior director at a British firm says that it employed mercenaries from Sierra Leone to work in Iraq because they were cheaper than Europeans and did not check if they were former child soldiers.

Fri
31
Jul

Anti-Isis summer camp: Schoolboys trained by Iraqi government-backed Shia militias

By Lizzie Dearden, The Independent

The use of teenage suicide bombers and boy soldiers by Isis is well-documented but the so-called Islamic State is not the only militant group abusing children in Iraq.

The Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), a coalition of Shia militias sponsored by the Iraqi government and reportedly using American weapons, has also recruited an “unknown number” of minors.

Investigators with the UN’s children and armed conflict office reported last month that the PMF was searching for child soldiers from conflict zones across Iraq, as well as in Baghdad and Basra.

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