South Sudan: 15,000 children recruited to fight

South Sudan: 15,000 children recruited to fight

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimates 15,000 to 16,000 children may have been used by armed forces and groups South Sudan two-year civil war. The New York based Human Rights Watch report has named 15 military commanders from both the government's Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) and the rebel force - the Sudan People's Liberation Army-In Opposition (SPLA-IO) - who have allegedly forced children to join their ranks.

In August 2015 the peace agreement was signed between the president Salva Kiir and the rebel leader Riek Machar, however the civil war has continued leading to thousands of deaths and more than 2.4 million facing severe food shortages.

“The world’s newest nation tops the rankings as the number one failed state.”

Ateny Wek Ateny, South Sudan's presidential spokesman promised that child-soldier recruitment is unacceptable and the commanders found guilty will be punished.

"The process is to dispatch a team to work with the UN in order to go and verify and identify where those children were actually recruited, unfortunately another war has started, which has hampered efforts to go and find those children"

In a statement to Al Jazeera, UNICEF said some progress had been made to secure releases and 1,750 children have been reunited with their families. 

"Now it is the turn of the many thousands of other children who remain with forces on both sides of the conflict"

The Image source is from  Aljazeera

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