22 Sep 2018

 

Remaining 381 Child Soldiers To Be Released This Month

Processes to release the remaining 389 child soldiers from armed groups in Gbudue State are underway, the National Disarmament and Demobilization Commission (NDDRC) said.

Remaining 381 Child Soldiers To Be Released This Month
Courtesy|VOA

By Ojwe Lumara

JUBA, 06 March 2018 [Gurtong]- The 389 child soldiers were part of the registered total of 700 out of which 311 were released by the DDR in collaboration with UNICEF and the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) last month.

In a press conference on Monday, officials of the DDRC said the remaining children will be released in phases later this month.

“Now we are working in assessing the other 389 to make 700. The 389 will be released in phases,” Oluku Andrew, National Coordinator Child DDR said. “As I speak, our staffs in the State for greater Western Equatoria are carrying out reassessment and from now the remaining children who have been verified will be registered.”

“So far the assessment is going on, the month is going very first, for sure some will be released this month,” Oluku added.

He said they will also asses cases in Tombura, Ezo, Maridi as well as Upper Nile and Bahr-el-Ghazal regions.

“The issue of children is very important and we address it as emergencies, whenever it is reported to us, the DDR Commission will rush and carry out verifications,” Oluku said.  “Whoever we found below the age of 18, and associated with armed groups must be registered.”

William Deng Deng, Chairperson of DDRC said the release is not related to the disarmament of some of the civilians by the army. He said the army has been directed to disarm civilians in some parts of the country where there were civil unrests.

The 311 children who were released in February are currently receiving psychosocial support in two centers- Child Trauma Counseling (CTC) where the girls are and another centre for vocational training in Yambio.

He said enrolment for some who want to start formal education is ongoing while others who do not want formal school will be trained on business skills and vocational skills.

Since the war of liberation between South Sudan and the Sudan started, thousands of child soldiers have been released. According to DDRC, 18,000 child soldiers were released between 2001 and 2004; 10,000 released between 2005 and 2011, and 4,000 released between 2011 and 2018.




 

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