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South Sudan agree to release child soldiers - UN

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November 23, 2009 (KHARTOUM) – The southern Sudan army, SPLA, signed a plan of action to end the use of children in war and to allow the UN agencies to verify their demobilization, the UN said last week end.

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Children disarming in Tora North Darfur, on 26 July 2009. (Photo by Olivier Chassot- UNAMID)

Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy announced the signing of an Action Plan with the SPLA on Friday to release children and "the verification of that release by United Nations agencies, and the reintegration of children according to that".

“We are very happy about that; it was on the 20th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child," she said in a press conference held on Sunday at the end of her visit to Sudan.

Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict yesterday welcomed commitment by southern Sudan army to end the use of children as soldiers.

Ms. Coomaraswamy visited Khartoum, North and West Darfur, Juba, Yambio and Bor where she met with government officials, NGOs, UN agencies and some children.

The purpose of the visit was to have a first-hand assessment of the recruitment and use of children as child soldiers on the ground.

"Every year, the Secretary-General makes a list of parties that recruit and use children in conflict and there are many parties in Sudan on that list. Part of my visit was to see how we can enter into action plans to remove parties from that list."

She further said the Sudanese government of Sudan has begun discussions with the UN on the de-listing process, adding "there are some very positive indications and discussions with them as well."

As part of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the parties have committed themselves to release and demobilize all children associated with armed forces and groups. Based on the CPA, all demobilization will be through the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) authorities, while the international community’s role is to support this process.

The UN official said concerned by the presence of children among rebel groups including the Justice and Equality Movement and Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) factions. She also said concerned about the recruitment of children by the government militias in Darfur.

Nonetheless she welcomed the willingness by the former rebel groups who signed the Abuja peace agreement in 2006 as SLA/Mother Abu Ghasim, SLA/Free Will and JEM/Peace-Wing to release children, and their undertaking to develop action plans in collaboration with the United Nations.

She also lauded the agreement by SLA/Minni Minnawi to grant unimpeded and immediate access to areas under their control for verification of compliance in conformity with the provisions of an action plan they signed in 2007.

Ted Chaiban, the former UNICEF representative to Sudan told reporters in Khartoum on December 24, 2007 that there are around 6000 child soldiers in Darfur. He added that all Darfur faction and groups as well as the Sudanese government have used children.

Chaiban cited figures that 2.3 million children have been affected by the conflict in Darfur, which amounts to roughly half of the more than four million people considered conflict affected in Sudan’s western region. He called Darfur "a dangerous and unhealthy place for a child to grow up in."

But, Sudanese government and rebel Justice and Equality Movement dismissed statements made by former UNICEF representative about the use of children in the ongoing armed conflict in western Sudan region of Darfur.

JEM said it had invited some UN agencies and UNICEF particularly to visit controlled areas to inspect the situation of children there, the group regretted the failure of the international children agency to respond positively to its invitation.

(ST)

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  • 24 November 2009 06:13, by Gatwech

    I thought the release of child soldiers was already agreed since 1991. And this is how the so-called Lost Boys pop up every where in Western world. Keeping some of them until now is a crime. It is violation of human rights. I was one of the child soldiers but the wise 1991 move freed me. I pray for the ones who are still under such a terrible situation. We were used as human shields against the well equipped and advancing SAF. Terrible crime!

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    • 24 November 2009 06:27, by Dinka Boy

      Hahaha,
      I prove from today that more Gatwech hs never been trained as militray.

      The Khartoum government must know that their is no child soldier right now. It their by then but now their is nothing called child soldsier.

      Bashier scared to death when we attacked Juba and Kapoeta.
      We( Red Army from Majak Agot Mayen) made nasty attacked every single did in Kapoeta and Juba.

      Arab knows us very well( no compliant we are not children)
      This is a proud citizen of Southern Sudan not a child soildier though i was once.
      Thanks

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      • 24 November 2009 07:09, by Ajongtar

        They are there you will get thousands of them.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        Red army Oyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

        Jech Amer Oyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

        God help us!!!!!!!!!

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        • 24 November 2009 10:24, by batali.alex

          You seems to be ghost not real human, what do you mean by "they are there, you will get thousands of them" slavery has ended. there is no need for our children to be send for the UN solider to top up. if it is the plan of the Arabs against the black let them better send their own children, if you are red army I am black army stop miss using God’s name in this stupid comment if you don’t have anything to write better write liberation songs

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          • 24 November 2009 11:18, by Gatwech

            Dinka Boy,

            You have exposed yourself as coward who was residing in refugee camps during the war. It is true that your type even your adult commanders were hiding in refugee camps of Pinyido, Dimma and Kakuma camps. This is what you are now revealing to the readers. Shame on you! How come you then claimed to be liberators when you were hiding in refugee camps, eating UN handouts.

            The true child soldiers like myself knew that we suffered as human shields in the frontlines. Most of us were too young at the age of 10 and 11. Please read the "War Child" and its movie by the real fighters like Emmanuel Jal and Lam Tunguar. We were about 2,000 but only 400 of us survived. People died in tens every day with no food, no water etc. While you sons of cowards like Dinka Boy were enjoying UN food in refugee camps as you have said it yourself. Shame! These kids should be released if there are some of them still in the army. It is a shame to SPLA.

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            • 24 November 2009 13:50, by mohammed ali

              This why there is to much hatred and resentment.Soldier when you area child!it is a horrible crime whatever just is the cause!It is a horrandous crime!

              This why there is too much hatred(not only towards Jalabba)and too much brutality!This should be addressed properly and honestly!Not for the sake of incriminating anyone,but to treat and manage the affected children one by one.They should be compensated generously , not only materially but mainly morally, for the loss of the most important part of their life!

              Why did’t the leaders of the freedom fighters send their childern to the war.I was amazed when I saw John Garang’s daugter and son! They were fabiolous!The girl was very beuitful and both speak very good ,fluent English with BRITISH accent , just like any British.I wish all the Southern children had got the same or simllar chance!

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      • 24 November 2009 07:14, by johnmaker

        I do agreed with you Mr dinka boy.There is nothing called child soldiers.in the SPLM/A there was no children taken to the war as the weaked hearted claim.

        If I was to asked a question, which battalion in the SPLA has used children to go fight on the frontline like foolish Gatwech claimed.I myself was in the red army and were never been taken to war due to the ill treatmen

        .The people like Gatwech they just fly like a bird while they don,t even know the SPLA/M history.There was only three places for the red army stationary.Pinyudo,Dimma and Bilpam. If I may asked you question Mr Dummy Gatwech.Where were you at those three places that I had mentioned.

        Please we all knows you are an agent from NCP and also Riek’s bodygaurd.Please keep gauding your fake leader until you will be called to the world of no return.Thank.John Maker the true patriotic person.

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        • 24 November 2009 08:21, by Dinka Boy

          Thanks JohnMaker,

          In USA, the miltary personnel are between the age of 18-20.
          Right now there are no child soldiers.
          Only Bashier governmnet want to create bad image to SPLM.

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          • 24 November 2009 10:47, by batali.alex

            Bashier is coming crazy if he will say let the souther Sudan children be send as solider he must go to Asia to bring more children from Asia to be given as solider to UN he so call Basier is just here in Sudan by accident, Sudan is land for black people not for red burnt bridges Sudan has been in the colonial era under the British not the Arabs Sudan has not been divided since colonization how comes that sudan will be divided now when colonization has stop. by all means if seperation will be, it will be temporary not for good, it will be time for rest and preperation for laying the good foundation for life

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      • 24 November 2009 07:32, by Aduol Liet

        SPLA Cdrs take this advices.

        It is a great Idea any way to released those Red Army to civilian lawless however, there are three things conditions that seem to affected their lives if allow them to live in the Communities, I think one condition was the budgets concern to their lives, because it is very harder things for some body who use to be Army that, adopting his life as a Military person to leave his gun and site there in the Community without giving him/ her what they deserves and the second condition to that is, releasing them without preparing them a good School for them to learn new knowledge and new skills will be a bad Idea from both sides SPLA Cdrs and the U.N. Officials. Third, Red Army are some time too aggressive and obviously they are known to be an impolite in Ethiopia, because we view them that, they are still having innates minds and they like to act just like six years Old, if U.N. Releasing them to their parents then, maybe they will not get a long to their parents because their thinking intelligences are too high refered them to Army than civilian thoughts and I think the SPLA Cdrs also need to know these things before disarmying them.

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        • 24 November 2009 10:57, by malith B.D

          SPLM -DC should not take advantage to re-recruit the demobilized child soldiers and turn them into militia to destabilize the South. GOSS should be watchful of SPLM-DC forming militia

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      • 24 November 2009 11:23, by Hillary B.M.L,M

        Dinka boy U are wrong,

        I was, before got freed and still some are there, yes i agree with you, it was a fight for freedom but now no more weapons fighting but verbal one, they should be freed to cope up with the World like You now able to use Internet.

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    • 24 November 2009 13:06, by Khent

      Poor Gatwech:

      Your tortured attempts to misconstrue and even reverse the dynamics of Riek’s collaboration with the enemy is perhaps the most laughable exercise in self delusion.

      You laughably term Dr. John Garang a traitor. I can’t help but chuckle at the irony and hypocrisy.

      Dr. John Garang (unlike Riek) is NOT a traitor!

      No one believes this or thinks this other than you.

      Though I doubt that you actually believe it, because, well.... it’s just dumb. Full props to you for your imaginative piece of fluff rhetoric.

      The main problem Riek had in establising his political credibility was his collaboration with the government. Riek’s reliance on the government for military hardware at crucial times throughout 1993-4 had a subsequent obvious effect on the course of inter-factional fighting.

      This accelerated disillusionment and disintegration as more and more of the rank-and-file of the movement began to realize the extent of Riek’s dependence on government support.

      Riek’s lasting legacy is the fomenting of civil war among the Nuer, and handing the oil-fields over to the government.

      Riek’s commanders from both the Jikany and Lou Nuer approached the government in Malakal seeking arms ostensibly with which to fight Dr. John Garang’s forces. These were given freely.

      Throughout the early part of 1994 there were clashes between the Lou of Waat and the Jikany of Nasir, leading to the destruction of Ulang and Nasir itself and the death of some 1200 people.

      Riek was so incompetent that he concoted a fake military assault on Malakal, with the employed services of a "Nuer prophet" to raise this force.

      Gatkek Wutnyang had been led to believe that the force was intended to take Malakal. Gatkek Wutnyang subsequently launched the unsuccesful assault on the town, little knowing that the Nasir commanders had NEVER seriously meant to attack it.

      When this fact was revealed, Riek’s commanders then relapsed into an embarrassed silence.

      Oil exploitation had been made possible by clearing the oil-fields of their civilian population through the activities of the Sudanese armed forces and Baqqara militias from southern Southern Kordofan, and then by the securing of areas through the alliance with the Nuer break-away factions.

      Once installed, the Sudanese military used the oil company roads and airfields to attack civilian settlements within a widening security radius.

      Now, if you can’t understand how Riek’s collaboration make him a TRAITOR, there is possibly a problem of basic intelligence which I cannot help you with.

      When are you going to characterize Riek’s collaboration with the enemy as an act of betrayal? When is that going to happen?

      You don’t like the truth and prefer to make up reasons for believing in nonsense, so you continuously pretend not to understand a word I say.

      Riek was an incompetant hypocrite, an un-convincing liar, a capricious figure- prone to collaborating with the enemy, unscrupolous and a TRAITOR.

      He laughably dismissed Dr. Lam Akol from their pseudo ’movement’ for get this, collaborating with the government. Reacting against his dismissal, Dr. Akol issued and circulated a document in which he demonstrated that he was not alone in cooperation with the enemy.

      In the document, Dr. Akol was very euphemistic when he remarked: "Who could be more royal in the king’s court than the King himself!". A clear reference to the fact that Riek, as the chairman of Nasir was fully aware of their ’movement’s collaboration with the government.

      There was NO crime too great for Nasir to commit, no deception too base for them to practice, no disguise too difficult for them to assume. Enjoy the fruits of our labour, the peace of our negotiations, and be grateful!

      You’re just a desperate defeated dunce, playing dumb because you have no other recourse.

      There’s no longer any burden of proof on you.

      Do you know why?

      Because your case is dismissed.

      Without Dr. John Garang’s forgiveness, Riek would be irrelevant within the political environment. Don’t’ be bitter. Be thankful!

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      • 24 November 2009 20:42, by Gatwech

        Khent,

        I was advised by one of your guys that you are a sick person with mental disorder. This explains why you don’t even know how peace with self-determination came about as a result of Dr. Riek Machar’s strategies. Sorry man, you need to treat yourself than posting every time such boring repeated comments.

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    • 24 November 2009 19:38, by Riangnom

      The propaganda that was used by traitor Riek Machar in 1991 that he defected because of child soldiers, which was totally opposited with his hidden agenda. He end up took [RED ARMY ] from Nasir to fought in Panyagor Kongor in 1993, when Josegh Oduho and Kuach Kang got killed by SPLA; Riek himself was a lucky ass he almost got killed too.

      I can not regreted that I had fired bullets at Southern enemy which is Arabs, of being a child soldier, not at all Iam proudly for what I did.

      Who can do it if we don’t ? It’s our obiligation to face it. I am happy because I gain pride of my nation Junub el Sudan.

      Thanks, by Riang Nom, Red Army veteran.

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  • 24 November 2009 11:22, by Gatwech

    Shame on Dinka Boy and likes,

    You have exposed yourselves as cowards who were residing in refugee camps during the war. It is true that your type even your adult commanders were hiding in refugee camps of Pinyido, Dimma and Kakuma camps. This is what you are now revealing to the world readers. Shame on you! How come you then claimed to be liberators when you were hiding in refugee camps, eating UN handouts while we the true liberators were suffering in the frontline.

    The true child soldiers like myself knew that we suffered as human shields in the frontlines. Most of us were too young at the age of 10 and 11. Please read the "War Child" and its movie by the real fighters like the artist Emmanuel Jal and Lam Tunguar. We were about 2,000 but only 400 of us survived. People died in tens every day with no food, no water etc. While you sons of cowards like Dinka Boy were enjoying UN food in refugee camps as you have said it yourself. Shame! These now senior kids should be released if there are some of them still in the army. It is a shame to SPLA.

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    • 24 November 2009 13:09, by Khent

      Gatwech:

      Your post above is called a priori thinking and is a common fallacy, in which you assume your own conclusion instead of proving it.

      The SPLA has always been primarily constituted by the Dinka tribe- Lual Ding (alone) led a force of over 10, 000 recruits from Aweil on their way to Ethiopia. I say, that blows your 2000 figure out of the water, does it not?

      The Nuer have NEVER eclipsed the Dinka within the movement. The SPLA’s manpower (from its very inception) came from the Dinka tribe, specifically from greater Bahr el Ghazal; the SPLA of Dr. John Garang should not be confused with the ineffective parallel movement of Samuel Gai Tut

      The point is not necessarily to convince a person such as yourself, in denial, to see objective material presented, but for the understanding of the perceptive.

      It’s amazing to witness the human mind in the process of confusing itself over something simple, via self inflicted misdirection, convolution and irrational hogwash.

      I implore you to educate yourself in order to think critically, so that you can distinguish fact from fiction, and theory from lunacy.

      The very act of continuing your futile plea only demonstrates that there is NO ESCAPE for you.

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      • 24 November 2009 20:44, by Gatwech

        Mentally sick Khent,

        I was advised by one of your guys that you are a sick person with mental disorder. This explains why you don’t even know how peace with self-determination came about as a result of Dr. Riek Machar’s strategies. Sorry man, you need to treat yourself than posting every time such boring repeated comments.

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        • 25 November 2009 00:00, by Khent

          Gatwech the Usurper:

          Don’t imagine that your personal attacks bother me or help you.

          It just makes it appear that you are angry because you can’t address the subject or defend your ridiculous assertions, so you attack and hope to distract.

          Your posts and rhetoric are ultimately predicated upon the mindless repetition of irrational dogmas.

          Since, you’ve been the one who has incessantly assigned accomplishments to a traitor without a shred of evidence...I’ll leave the art of redundant repetition to you.

          Repetition is your forte, since you do nothing other than lie. And even then, you are really lousy at it, which is why all your posts are pathetic.

          You must be suffering from Ritalin withdrawal because your attention deficit disorder is afflicting you again.

          How do you intend to rectify your deplorable behaviour, i.e. not your usual way — emotional breakdown.

          I censured my fellow tribesmen for needlessly disparaging the Nuer, and yet you schizophrenically regurgitate the rants of a bigot. It therefore seems like a nervous reaction from you.

          Schizophrenia is something you share with your idol-it is consistent with the confused, and deranged schizophrenic actions of Riek Machar.

          Congratulations!

          You know, I’m only explaining this for the benefit of others who actually are educable.

          You’ve completely convinced me that you are either unable or unwilling to learn.

          Readers:

          I cannot too much impress upon the minds of you all that historical revisionists, by their very calling, by the very essence of their institution, are bound to seek, by every means, the destruction of our movement, and the belittlement of our sacrifices.

          This is the condition of their existence, the duty they must fulfill, or they cease to be historical revisionists.

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    • 24 November 2009 20:02, by Riangnom

      Gatwech try not to lie my friend, Emmanual Jal never been a child soldier, I know the guy very well. He was took from his home village LEER to Nairobi Kenya by Riek Machar’s former wife Emmy Teny, the Leer is located in South East of Bentiu Unity State. Al so I read Emmnual Jal’s book, he lie alot in that scrap book, it good though to lie to western world to beg and get money, even now he is building school in Leer in the name of lost Boys. He is getting huge fund because of Lost Boys while he never been trained as soldier. Being [NYAGATS in LUAK ] villge does not count as a soldier.

      Tell me if you can prove it wrong, don’t cover up you have to claim something you deerve.

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      • 24 November 2009 20:47, by Gatwech

        Riangnom,

        I don’t blame you because you were hiding in refugee camps when Emmanuel Jal was fighting the enemy in the bushes. A coward chicken in the refugee camp would never know what a brave soldier was doing in the bushes. You are too different from Emmanuel Jal.

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        • 25 November 2009 02:57, by Riangnom

          Gatwech you are self defeat, can you narrate what battllion in the SPLA where Emmanual Jal was graduated from ? And what year ? I hope you will not going to tell me that he was a [ DECJE EE BOOR] what you call white army, they are very pure [NYAGAATINS] They never fought Arabs ever. Their duties were just to stabbed SPLA/M in the back while the really liberators were facing Arabs.

          You may have misconception when you [Nyagats ]got guns in the villages and loots people’s belongs that is not a liberation, how come you left the real enemy of South evilists Arabs and turn to your brothers and sisters in the South to killed them ? ridiculous.

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  • 24 November 2009 11:44, by free son

    This move can make sense in Darfur, Khartoum’s the so called ’mujaahidiin’ or elsewhere but not Southern Sudan.

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