Mali Islamists ‘buying child soldiers, imposing Sharia’
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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