S. Sudan army releases 36 child soldiers

Hundreds of demobilized child soldiers still need education, rehabilitation

S. Sudan army releases 36 child soldiers

World Bulletin / News Desk

South Sudan's army on Friday released 36 children who had been forced to join its ranks in the country's northern region, an army spokesman said Friday.

"The released children were originally recruited by Gen. Johnson Olony, a [militia] commander loyal to the army, in the northeastern Upper Nile province," army spokesman Philip Aguer told the Anadolu Agency by phone.

"The children have been reunited with their families in Upper Nile's western Wau Shilluk district," Aguer said.

"These children were under 18 years old. We found out about them after a joint visit between the army and UNICEF representatives," he added.

Last month, UNICEF said no fewer than 89 children, some of whom were less than 13 years old, had been abducted by gunmen near Malakal city, provincial capital of Upper Nile State – claims denied at the time by local authorities.

Active in Malakal's western Wau Shilluk region, the militia, led by Johnson Olony, has been fighting armed rebels alongside the South Sudanese army.

Local sources told AA that Olony's militia had been recruiting children to fight for it, a claim that could not be independently verified by AA.

South Sudan, which became independent from Sudan in 2011, has been shaken by violence since late 2013, when President Salva Kiir accused Riek Machar, his sacked vice-president, of leading a failed coup attempt against his regime.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Mart 2015, 10:53