Watchlist Newsletter

June 2012


Updates from the field

The Conflict in Syria and the UN’s Children and Armed Conflict Agenda
The Houla massacre of 108 civilians, nearly half children under the age of 10, has catapulted the Syrian conflict to the forefront of the United Nations Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC) agenda.  Following confirmation of the number of children killed in Houla by Observers from the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS), the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict (SRSG), Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy, released a statement condemning in the harshest terms the Houla killings and called for investigations into the circumstances behind the deadly attacks. Ms. Coomaraswamy’s statement that “the perpetrators of these horrendous crimes in El-Houle must be held accountable” echoed an earlier statement from the UN Security Council which reiterated that the use of force against a civilian population is a violation of international law and that those responsible must be held accountable.
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Justice for “Bush Wives”: The ICC and Bosco Ntaganda - A Watchlist Blog on the Huffington Post 
Bosco Ntaganda, a former top commander of Thomas Lubanga's UCP/FPLC in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), was indicted for child recruitment and use by the ICC in 2006. In 2009, Ntaganda became a general in the Congolese armed forces. He had circulating freely in Goma, North Kivu, until a few weeks ago. After the ICC's judgment in the Lubanga case in March 2012, Ntaganda went into hiding in the Virunga National Park, where he is allegedly protected by a group of loyalists who recently defected from the Congolese army. The ensuing troop movements have caused widespread insecurity in the Kivu provinces, displacing whole villages and causing thousands of women, men and children to seek refuge across the border into Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi. There are also new reports of forced recruitment of child soldiers by Ntaganda's men.

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Updates from New York

Serious delays for the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict 
On July 5, 2011, the Secretary-General released his fourth report on the situation of children and armed conflict in Sudan. On July 9 2011, South Sudan gained independence from Sudan. Given the changing realities on the ground, the Security Council’s Working Group has been negotiating two separate outcome documents for the report: one set of conclusions for children and armed conflict in Sudan and one set of conclusions for children and armed conflict in South-Sudan.
On May 31, 2012 – almost eleven months after the publication of the report- the Working Group met in formal session to adopt the conclusions on Sudan and South Sudan. However, in the absence of a consensus on humanitarian access in Sudan, the Working Group was unable to adopt the conclusions.

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Working together to protect the security and rights of children
Watchlist monitors and reports on the situation of children affected by armed conflicts in specific countries around the world.  

Watchlist provides its partners in the global south with technical support and advice to strengthen their ability to monitor abuses, to advocate on behalf of children in their communities and to respond to local needs.

With our unique perspective as a bridge between local actors and international policy makers, we are able to find and present practical solutions to the protection of children in conflict zones.
Children and Armed Conflict
Key News

Central African Republic:  The Ugandan army last Saturday captured Caesar Acellam Otto, one of the top military leaders of the Lord’s Resistance Army, in the Central African Republic.
OSRSG, May 14, 2012. Click here to read more.
Colombia: Colombian authorities have been alerted to the FARC’s alleged recruitment of 13 minors in the southern department of Putumayo and will send a commission to investigate the claims.
Colombia Reports, May 25, 2012. Click here to read more.
The Hague:  Charles G. Taylor, the former president of Liberia and a once-powerful warlord, was sentenced on Wednesday to 50 years in prison over his role in atrocities committed in Sierra Leone during its civil war in the 1990s.
New York Times, May 30, 2012. Click here to read more

Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict
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Watchlist on Children and Armed Confict ("Watchlist") is a program of the Women's Refugee Commission (WRC). Both Watchlist and WRC are affiliated with and legally part of the International Rescue Committee (IRC), a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Neither Watchlist nor the WRC receive direct financial support from the IRC.

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