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South Sudan, 21 February 2015: UNICEF condemns new child abductions by armed group

21 February 2015, JUBA/NAIROBI/NEW YORK – UNICEF condemns in the strongest terms the abduction of scores of boys, some as young 13, by an armed group near Malakal in the north of South Sudan.

A UNICEF education team reported that 89 children were abducted while doing their exams. The actual number could be much higher.

The incident occurred in the community of Wau Shilluk in Upper Nile State where thousands of people have been internally displaced by the ongoing conflict.

According to witnesses, armed soldiers surrounded the community and searched house by house. Boys older than 12 years of age were taken away by force.

UNICEF Representative in South Sudan, Jonathan Veitch, urged the group to immediately release the children.

“The recruitment and use of children by armed forces destroys families and communities. Children are exposed to incomprehensible levels of violence, they lose their families and their chance to go to school.”

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 promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF and its work visit:

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For more information please contact:
John Budd, Communication Officer, UNICEF South Sudan; Mobile: +211912398404;
JamesElder, UNICEF Regional Chief of Communication, Eastern & Southern Africa; Mobile: +254 71558 1222 twitter @1james_elder
Melanie Sharpe, UNICEF New York, +1917 251 7670,



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