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Former South Sudan child soldiers mark second anniversary

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July 29, 2014 (WAU) – South Sudan’s former child soldiers, known as the Red Army, on Tuesday marked their second anniversary in Western Bahr el Ghazal state with calls for peace.

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Members of South Sudan’s Red Army Foundation in Western Bahr el Ghazal state on 29 July 2014 (ST)

The Red Army foundation was formed two years ago as a landmark transition from warfare to welfare with the aim to address South Sudan’s social problems.

The chairperson of the foundation in the state said lives sacrificed in the past paved way for the country’s independence.

“We are very sorry to celebrate today with our hearts remembering our fallen brothers and sisters who lost their lives along the 21 years old, similar to those whom the young nation is still missing in this seven months conflict in the country,” said Alfred Angok Uliny.

As part of its strategy, he said, the foundation intends to initiate some income generating activities to benefit the people of South Sudan.

“Our main objectives are to preserve the legacy of red army who fought the long 21 years and to convert them into a productive skills that could bring change into the south Sudan’s economy,” said Uliny

In the early 1980s, the Sudan Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA) recruited and began training boys as young as 12 to fight in its battle for independence from Sudan. Some of those recruited, Human Rights Watch said in a 1994 report, fought alongside the SPLA.

(ST)

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