presidential waivers (2011-15) for the child soldier prevention act of 2008.

The Child Soldier Prevention Act of 2008 was passed to block the arms sales to any government, paramilitary, or other group that used child soldiers in any capacity, including non-combat roles. Built within the law is the power for the president to determine at his discretion whether to waive restrictions for any country that is documented using child soldiers.

Barack Obama has invoked this waiver from 2011-2015 for the following countries:

  • 2011: Yemen, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
  • 2012: Libya, South Sudan, Yemen, DRC
  • 2013: Chad, South Sudan, Yemen, DRC, Somalia
  • 2014: Rwanda, Somalia, Yemen, DRC, Central African Republic (CAR), South Sudan
  • 2015: DRC, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan

Each waiver is made under the assumption that it is in the national interest of the United States. Precisely what that interest is does not need to be disclosed.

Some of the African countries are predominantly in the Sahel, and all have increasing problems of fundamentalist Islamic insurgencies. The presidential waivers likely reflect American efforts to supply or sell embattled governments with arms and materiel.