3rd April 2020
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Army demobilizes 15 child soldiers

Author: Woja Emmanuel | Published: Thursday, February 27, 2020

Previously released child soldiers in Yambio, Gbudue. Photo @UN

The army has allegedly released 15 child soldiers who had been in the custody of South Sudan United Front since August 2019.

The children were captured by the SSPDF last year during a fight between the government and forces of the ex-army chief of staff, Paul Malong.

The 15 children who had spent about six months associating with the armed group, were handed over to the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Commission or DDR on Wednesday.

The boys were released in the presence of the DDR and UNICEF in Juba.

Speaking at Giada military garrison, the Chief of Ground Operation at the military headquarters, advised the children against rejoining any armed group.

“We have done the procedures of these children and wish them more in a long time as ex-child soldiers.  I am very proud of this. Go home and use this time for school,” said Fred Akot.

The release comes just over two weeks after the government of South Sudan signed an action plan to end and prevent all grave violations against children.

There are an estimated 19,000 child soldiers in South Sudan in 2019, according to the U.N.

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