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UNICEF condemns child abductions by S. Sudan armed groups

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February 21, 2015 (JUBA) – The United Nations Child Fund (UNICEF) has condemned the recent abduction of children in South Sudan’s Upper Nile state, describing it as a violation of international laws.

UNICEF has previously accused government forces in South Sudan of looting backpacks intended for school children (Photo: Carl De Souza/AFP/Getty Images)

UNICEF’s representative in South Sudan, Jonathan Veitch, called on government and the rebels to immediately release those abducted.

“The recruitment and use of children by armed forces destroys families and communities,” Veitch said in a statement.

According to UNICEF, scores of boys, some as young as 13, were abducted by an armed group near the Upper Nile capital, Malakal.

The agency reports that 89 children were abducted while doing their exams, adding that the actual numbers could be much higher.

The incident reportedly occurred among the Wau Shilluk communities, where the conflict has displaced thousands of people.

An eye witness quoted by UNICEF officials said that armed soldiers surrounded the community and searched house by house, adding “Boys older than 12 years of age were taken away by force”.

“Children are exposed to incomprehensible levels of violence, they lose their families and their chance to go to school,” said Veitch.

UNICEF urged the conflicting parties to ensure children are kept out of the conflict.

“UNICEF reminds all parties involved in the conflict that the recruitment and use of children in armed forces and groups is a grave violation of international law,” UNICEF said.

Last week, the New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) accused South Sudan’s warring parties of allegedly recruiting children to join their ranks.

However, the South Sudanese government has dismissed the findings of the report.

(ST)

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  • 22 February 2015 04:50, by padiit gaga

    Do not abducted children these are the feature of our country they will be wise than you drukers leaders. They will not have tribalism and nepotism give them chan to learn do not include them in conflicts.

  • 22 February 2015 05:10, by Eyez

    I wonder how it would feel, if the children of the warmongers who thrive on beating the drums of war are the ones that are abducted and conscripted to fight, wil they go to bed at night and sleep well...huh? Stop this senseless idiotic war, it’s destroying the core fundamental principle of the right to life, regardless of tribe, race or religion. South Sudan is the land of our ancestors.
    AnyaNya1

  • 22 February 2015 20:14, by Thondet Manyang

    Hahaha! The grown up people are finished so people have to recruit kids to fight for their interests. That is amazing! Finish your selves and leave children alone please! What about your hidden sons and daughters. Shame on you!!!



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