Mali Islamists ‘buying child soldiers, imposing Sharia’

by Machiavelli

~~Defender of Faith~Guardian of Truth~~

Young fighters, including 13-year-old Abdullahi, right, and 14-year-old Hamadi, second right, display their Quranic studies notes as their Islamist commanders look on, in Douentza, Mali, 27 September 2012                              Islamists who seized control of part of Mali are amassing money from ransoms and drug trafficking while imposing Sharia law, says a senior UN official.

They are also buying child soldiers, paying families $600 (£375) per child, Ivan Simonovic said after a fact-finding visit to the country.

Islamic extremists seized two-thirds of Mali in March when a military coup plunged the country into chaos.

Mr Simonovic painted a grim picture of human rights abuses there.

Women’s rights were being particularly restricted, said Mr Simonovic, the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, citing the compilation of a “frightening” list of unmarried women who were pregnant or had borne children.

More women were being forced into marriage – with a wife costing less than $1,000 – and some were then being resold in “a smokescreen for enforced…

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