UNICEF expresses concern over the death of a child and injury to others by unexploded ordnance in Unity State, South Sudan
Statement attributed to UNICEF South Sudan Representative, Dr. Yasmin Ali Haque
JUBA, April 30, 2012- On Saturday 28 April, five children, all boys aged between 9 and 14 were injured by Unexploded Ordnances (UXOs) in Bentiu which exploded as they were handling it. One of the children died on arrival at the hospital in Bentiu, one has been discharged and the other four are receiving treatment. On the same day in nearby Rubkona town, another 16 year old child also sustained minor injuries when a grenade he was playing with exploded.
The Representative of UNICEF South Sudan, Dr. Yasmin Ali Haque is deeply alarmed by the death of a 14 year old child and injury to another five caused by the explosion of Unexploded Ordnance(UXOs) on Saturday, April 28 in Unity State, South Sudan.
“This incident clearly shows the impact of conflict on children and the threat posed by landmines and UXOs”, said Dr. Haque. “It further highlights that children and communities in this country are at risk of being killed or maimed by landmines and UXOs even in the centre of town”, she added.
Dr. Haque assured that Emergency Mine Risk Education (MRE) including the use of child-to-child approach in Bentiu, Rubkona and other parts of Unity State will be conducted as a means of preventing such incidents particularly in the counties to the north of Unity state where rebel militia groups have been active. In addition, the partners will be increasing their efforts on mine clearance in these high risk areas.
UNICEF, which works within the framework of the United Nations Mine Action Coordination Centre (UNMACC), coordinates and provides technical support to MRE in schools and communities through Non-Governmental Organizations(NGOs) and Community Based Organizations
The UNICEF Representative calls on all armed groups to desist from the use of landmines and other explosive ordinances which put civilians, particularly children at risk of such deaths and injuries.
For more information, please contact:
Siddartha(Sid) Shrestha, Chief of Strategic Communication, UNICEF South Sudan.
Swangin Bismarck, Communication officer UNICEF South Sudan