“They’re Going to Exterminate Us”

100 women marched through the Chadian town of Guelendeng with their hands on their heads (a sign of mourning) to protest against domestic violence.

Women in Chad report that violence against wives at the hands of their husbands is unthinkable. Stabbings are a common occurrence. One recent victim believes that “they’re going to exterminate us”.

The protesters feel several factors contribute to domestic violence – including forced marriages, accepted norms subordinating women, poverty, displacement, jealousy, and a rise in alcohol consumption.

US Stands Against Child Soldier Use

darfurLast week, US Congress unanimously passed a law which reduces aid to countries with governments who use child soldiers.
The legislation could impact six countries currently receiving military aid from the US –Afghanistan, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Sri Lanka, and Sudan. In 2008 alone, these six countries received $3.5 million in US military training, $800,000 in US military financing, and $6 billion in US military sales.

Child rights advocate Jo Becker of Human Rights Watch had this to say –

US weapons should not end up in the hands of children nor should US taxpayer dollars finance the exploitation of children in armed conflict.

According to the 2008 Child Soldiers Global Report recently published by the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, at year-end 2007, children were involved in 17 armed conflicts around the world.

Sudan’s Child “Well-Being” Rated

611A recent report published by The African Child Policy Forum, an independent Ethiopian agency, ranked 52 African countries according to a “child-friendly index“.

Sudan ranked near the bottom with a rating of “less child-friendly”. Neighboring Chad was “awarded” a rating of “least child-friendly”.

The study took into account spending on health and education, laws protecting children’s rights, nutrition, water, sanitation, and military resources.

Read more of this post