Oct 18/10 - Pt 3: Omar Khadr/ Former Child Soldiers

The jury is still out on Omar Khadr's future. And there's a lot hanging in the balance. We hear from two former child soldiers who don't like where his case is headed.



PART THREE

Omar Khadr/Former Child Soldiers

Omar Khadr's fate is still up in the air this morning. He is a Canadian who is charged by the U.S. with killing an American soldier in Afghanistan when he was 15, and now the last Western citizen being held in Guantanamo Bay. Omar Khadr's lawyers are in talks with the U.S. Government, over a plea bargain that could reduce his sentence and allow him to serve part of it in Canada ... provided he pleads guilty to a an alleged war crime committed when he was a minor. That would be a first in the western world.

And our next two guests -- both former child soldiers -- find that idea deeply troubling. Ishmael Beah was recruited by Sierra Leone's army when he was 13. That was in the 1990s, when his country was being torn apart by civil war. He spent three years fighting before UNICEF removed him from the army. He was in New York City this morning. When she was 15, Grace Akallo was kidnapped by the Lord's Resistance Army, the notorious rebel group that was fighting the Ugandan Government. She raided villages and served as a commander's wife for seven months before she escaped. She was in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Mark Drumbl is a Law Professor at Washington and Lee University, in Virginia. His book Not So Simple: Child Soldiers, Justice, and the International Legal Imagination will be published next year.

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