The police in Kandahar have arrested 10 Taliban militants they said were involved in an attack earlier this month on a group of Afghan schoolgirls whose faces were doused with acid, officials in Kandahar said Tuesday.
The officials said that the militants, who were Afghan citizens, had confessed to their involvement in the attack on the schoolgirls and their teachers on Nov. 12 and that a high-ranking member of the Taliban had paid the militants 100,000 Pakistani rupees for each of the girls they managed to burn.
Here’s a video about the incident (hat tip: Huffington Post):
And here’s another video about the effects of these attacks:
Our friends at Nothing But Nets send along the following.
The UN Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign, a global, grassroots initiative to prevent malaria, announced today the distribution of nearly one million bed nets to children and their families throughout the Central African Republic (CAR). The nets will be distributed as part of an integrated measles immunization campaign led by the government of CAR with support from the Measles Initiative. The bed nets contributed by Nothing But Nets will provide full coverage for 740,000 children under the age of five who are being targeted in this effort.
As always, send a net, save a life. The rest of the release is below the fold.
My trip to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia two weeks ago coincided with Africa’s biggest single sporting event, the Great Ethiopian Run. I visited UNICEF’s office a couple of days before the race and there was a flurry of activity surrounding UNICEF’s participation, which included organizing a special race for disabled children using the “mobility cycles” featured in this video.
A couple of things to look for when you watch this video. 1) The young gentleman with the dreads who is painting the sign is a local artist I met named Robel. He is a member of Speak Africa, a UNICEF sponsored group that encourages young Africans to push for social change through art and media. Robel is a cartoonist who’s work can be seen here. 2) The smiling person in an Ethiopian flag track suit who is greeting the mobility cyclists is Haille Grebreselassie, the current world-record marathon runner. You can see my own adventures with Gebreselllsie here.
I have to plug Mark’s great post on Northern Uganda over at Huff Po’s new “World” section:
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia. Victor Ochen is from northern Uganda. He is in his late twenties, affable, and wears a permanent smile. But being 20-something and from northern Uganda means he is part of an entire generation lost to war. From the late 1980s to 2006, the Lord’s Resistance Army, (LRA) a militia led by the charismatic faux-religious warrior Joseph Kony, turned northern Uganda into as close to hell on earth as you can imagine.
Tens of thousands of people were killed and over 2 million displaced in two decades of conflict. But those numbers tell only half the story. The LRA was notorious for swelling its ranks with child soldiers. In all, some 60,000 children were abducted during the course of the war.
How they conscripted these children are tales that defy the imagination. One night seven years ago, the LRA raided the village of one of Victor’s friends. Rebel commanders separated the children from their parents and hacked to death the adults. In all, 27 people were killed. But the LRA was not done. They placed the human remains into a large pot and cooked them over the fire. LRA commanders forced the children to eat the stew.
This is a special message to readers in the Washington, D.C. area.
The quote above is a lyric to the title track of Emmanuel Jal’s breakout album, War Child. For those of you not familiar with his work, run yourself to his website and download a few tunes. For those unfamiliar with the Emmanuel Jal story, buy tickets to the documentary War Child, playing this week at the Landmark E Street Cinema.
This is an amazing film. Jal was a child soldier during Sudan’s brutal civil war. He managed to escape to Kenya, where he emerged a decade later as a world music sensation whose music combines hip-hop and African beats with piercing lyrics drawn from his traumatic youth.
Here is my interview with the film’s director Karim Chrobog. If you are in the DC area do yourself a favor and see this film. It opens Friday and will run for just one week.
Recently, fellow Dispatch blogger Vanessa Valenti wrote about child abductions in Haiti, explaining that “while both boys and girls have been kidnapped, it seems that females are a large target, and often raped and sexually abused.” Vanessa goes on to say that the gangs who kidnap the children often end up murdering them, despite the family paying their requested ransom.
Now, another heartbreaking story about Haiti’s children:
The 5-year-old teetered on broomstick legs — he weighed less than 20 pounds, even after days of drinking enriched milk. Nearby, a 4-year-old girl hung from a strap attached to a scale, her wide eyes lifeless, her emaciated arms dangling weakly. …
U.N. World Food Program country director Myrta Kaulard said she fears more deaths from malnutrition in other isolated parts of Haiti, and search and medical teams were fanning out in the northwest and along the southwestern peninsula to check.
The SG: In Ethiopia over the weekend, the SG is now in the United Arab Emirates. Today he met with Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashed Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, where the two discussed developments in the region, including Syria, Iran, Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan, and in the Middle East Peace Process.