UNICEF welcomes the release of 10 children from armed forces
JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN 27 MAY 2020 – 10 children between 15 and 17 years of age, are released from armed forces in South Sudan, UNICEF said today. Nine boys and one girl were identified in one of the training centres for the unified forces in the capital Juba. The national disarmament and demobilization commission (NDDRC), the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and UNICEF were able to advocate for their release with support from the South Sudan People’s Defence forces (SSPDF).
As graduation from the training centre is imminent it was urgent for NDDRC, UNMISS and UNICEF to remove the children from the cantonment site. The children are placed in interim care centres where they are taken care of while family tracing is ongoing. The children will also receive a package covering their basic needs such as new clothes, shoes, soap and other essentials. They will also be given psychosocial support.
“A strong unified army has a clear and unified stance against the use of children by armed forces and armed groups,” said Mohamed Ag Ayoya, UNICEF South Sudan Representative. “I’m pleased to see that the armed forces continue to work with NDDRC, UNMISS and UNICEF to release children from the ranks and allow them to go home to their families where they belong.”
Some cantonment and training sites in South Sudan are congested and lacking basic hygiene facilities. In the context of COVID-19, allowing children to return to their families will also be safer for the children.
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 in South Sudan visit: www.unicef.org/southsudan