Children Abandoned as Parents Flee to Sudan

“As a faith-based humanitarian organisation we were touched by their suffering and that’s why we decided to take care of them. We are receiving some support from the Muslim community around this area to feed the children,”

Children Abandoned as Parents Flee to Sudan
South Sudan’s Northern Bahr el Ghazal Islamic Council Secretary Anyar Madut Akech talking to the press. [Photo|Agoth Abraham]

By Agoth Abraham

MAJOK-NYIN-THIOU, May 28, 2016 [GURTONG] - Over 300 children aged between 2-5 years are stranded at Majok-nyinthiou after their parents crossed into Sudan.

The South Sudan Islamic Council says the children were found abandoned in one of the villages bordering Sudanese towns as their parents migrated into Sudan in search of food.

South Sudan’s Northern Bahr el Ghazal Islamic Council Secretary Anyar Madut Akech confirmed that the children are currently under their care.

They are being housed at a Mosque in Majook-nyinthiou Municipality in Aweil East State.

“As a faith-based humanitarian organisation we were touched by their suffering and that’s why we decided to take care of them. We are receiving some support from the Muslim community around this area to feed the children,” said Akech who also goes by the name Anyar Saudi.

He said the children could have been left behind as their parents could not migrate into the north to fend for food while holding onto them.

He urged the local authorities to assist the Mosque leadership to provide care to the children.

He called upon Al-kashi Companies and Dowa Islamia (the Islamic Relief organisation) to offer support to the helpless children.

“I encourage people to work hard and produce something for themselves as South Sudan is agriculturally rich comparedto the arid Sudan,” he said.

Aweil East State Information MinisterWilliam Ater Lual denied the reports, saying the state authorities have not received any reports of stranded children.

He claimed that the Islamic Council is “interested in brainwashing and converting the children to Islam”.

“I want to make it clear to the public that there are not children under the care of the Islamic Council. We have even heard of reports about deaths of some children, which is totally untrue,” he said.

He denied that the state was experiencing hunger and said a few people moving to neighbouring Sudan were doing so on their own volition but not because of hunger.

The official cautioned people against what he termed ‘making fun of the humanitarian situation in South Sudan”.

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