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Girl Soldiers: Forgotten Casualties of War


As secretary of State, Hillary Clinton was visibly shaken by sexual crimes against women and girls when she visited the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 2009. Sexual crimes in this central African country, known as the “rape capital of the world,” include the sexual exploitation of tens of thousands of girls abducted and trapped as child soldiers. Nonetheless, since 2010, President Obama has waived a congressionally mandated ban on military aid to countries known to exploit child soldiers, among them the DRC.


Local-born doctor: Military structures young lives

Asia Burns, left, and Arlonzo Chism stand in formation during ROTC at Woodlawn High School. (Photo: Henrietta Wildsmith/The Times)

A former Shreveporter who left a troubled family here to serve as a combat medic in Iraq, and who later served as a new doctor combating Ebola in west Africa, will speak in his home town later this week and sign copies of his new book.

"My mom was in prison most of my life, and my sister did time," says Antonio Webb, 32, who now is in his residency as an orthopedic surgeon in San Antonio, Texas. He grew up in the Allendale, Queensborough and Meadows neighborhood off Jewella Avenue.

"My dad did the best he could as a single parent to keep us isolated from what was going on. I was lucky in that I left Shreveport at an early age, 17, after I graduated from high school. If I'd have stayed in Shreveport there would have been a different outcome."


Quotes from WRI's Countering the Militarisation of Youth conference: Resistance

I as Director of the Vocational Training Centre for former Child Soldiers implemented programmes for UNICEF including how to get children who were caught up in the war back into the mainstream of life – to get them back into school or vocational activities...Reduce or eliminate all sort of inequalities and violence will be reduced. If there is no violence, there would be no need for child soldiers... - Domino Frank Suleiman, Liberia


Quotes from WRI's Countering the Militarisation of Youth conference: Recruitment, and The military in public and private space


The way that I ended up joining the military was that when I was a senior in high school I intended to go to college but I didn't have any way to pay for it...I talked to an army recruiter [about an army scholarship] and he made it sound really good...Any time between signing the contract and going to basic training, you can change your mind and there won't be any consequences. Of course, the recruiters won't tell you that – they'll threaten legal consequences etc... - Kelly Dougherty, USA

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