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Ex-child soldier abandoned after injury

Author: Garang Abraham | Published: Monday, October 14, 2019

Former Child Soldier Nhial Bol Nhial, 20, pictured in Bor in Sept. 2019 | Credit | Garang Abraham/Eye Radio

A former child soldier from Jonglei is appealing to well-wishers to fund his treatment for an injury he sustained at a battle field six years ago.

Nhial Bol Nhial says he was incited by politicians in Juba to fight against an ethnic group in the 2013 civil war.

He was recruited into the formerly called SPLA Division Eight at the age of fourteen.

During a battle at an area called Pajut in Jonglei that year, he was shot in the thigh and stomach – injuries that has changed his life for worse.

Nhial underwent a surgery which involved replacement of his broken thigh born – a somewhat poorly done operation which he says has not healed still today.

Due to complications, the 20-year-old former child soldier says he must be injected every night in order for him to sleep.

“The government will like you when you are strong and healthy but when you are injured, no one will like you or work with you again like now nobody cares about me,” he told Eye Radio in Bor.

As a veteran, he’s struggling to meet daily needs. However, he is unable to afford school fees and further medical attention that he badly needs.

“I’m unable to go to school but if I could possess a mere motorbike, I would make a better use of it to raise some money to go for treatment.”

The operation was carried out at Giada Military Hospital in Juba. Nhial added that he would like to seek better medical care abroad.

Under both international and South Sudanese national law, the forcible or voluntary recruitment of persons under the age of 18, whether as a member of a regular army or of an informal militia, is prohibited.

However, the UN estimates show that there about 19,000 children in armed forces in South Sudan, a number contested by the army.

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