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00:00:00
>> Morning all, wanna welcome->> About a dozen US State Department officials accusing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, of violating a federal law designed to stop foreign militaries from enlisting child soldiers. According to internal government documents reviewed by Reuters. A confidential dissent memo not previously reported, said Tillerson breached the Child Soldiers Prevention Act, when he decided in June to exclude Iraq, Myanmar, and Afghanistan from a list of offenders in the use of child soldiers.
00:00:29
This despite the department publicly acknowledging that children were being enlisted in those countries. Keeping them off the annual list makes it easier to provide these countries with the US military assistance. Iraq and Afghanistan are allies in the fight against Islamist militants, while Myanmar is an emerging ally to offset China's influence in South East Asia.
00:00:48
Documents reviewed by Reuters also shows Tillerson's decision was at odds with the unanimous recommendation by department heads in the region, as well as its human rights office and in-house lawyers. Making rare use of what is known as the Dissent Channel, which allows officials to object to policies without fear of reprisals.
00:01:05
The July 28th memo said the decision, quote, weakened one of the US government's primary diplomatic tools in fighting the use of child soldiers. The law passed in 2008, states the US government must be satisfied that no one under the age of 18 are recruited, conscripted, or otherwise compelled to serve as child soldiers, or a country to be removed from the list.
00:01:27
But when asked about the official's allegation that Tillerson violated the law. A State Department spokesman said, quote, the Secretary thoroughly reviewed all of the information presented to him. And made a determination about whether the facts presented justified a listing pursuant to the law.