South Sudan's child soldiers


In April UN human rights chief Navi Pillay said that more than 9,000 child soldiers have been fighting in South Sudan's civil war, recruited by both the army and rebel forces. These numbers account for These reports are based on observations of children with armed groups, children wearing military uniforms and carrying weapons, and children undergoing military training.

Reports in August from local Juba Radio station Dabanga suggestioned that this recruitment is ongoing, with the The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North claiming on 27 August that “Rapid Support militias, under the command of the National Intelligence and Security Service, during the past few days have recruited more than 3,000 boys between 15 and 17 years old from the areas under control of the regime in South Kordofan”. Human Rights Watch reported that the government used child soldiers in renewed fighting in mid-August in Bentiu, the capital of Unity state, as well as in the neighboring town of Rubkona, whilst the Sudan Tribune in June published a statement attributed to military caretaker governer in the Lakes State, in which he said that all youth must join the army to defend state interests, and directed commissioners to use force if necessary against those who resist.


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