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5,000 South Sudanese children reunited with families

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October 22, 2017 (JUBA) - 5,000 South Sudanese children have been reunited with their families since civil war broke out in the country in 2013, the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), Save the Children and other entities said in a statement.

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A United Nations peacekeeper standing with children near the U.N. base in Juba, South Sudan, in January 2016 (AP Photo/Jason Patinkin/File)

“A total of 16,055 unaccompanied and separated children have been registered by the organizations involved in the family tracing and reunification programs in South Sudan,” partly reads the joint statement issued last week.

“Efforts continue to trace the families of more than 10,000 children still separated from their family or caregivers, so that they too can be reunited,” it added.

Reuniting separated children with their families is a challenging process in a country with virtually no infrastructure and no telephone reception in many areas, it stressed.

Family tracing and reunification staff often have to trek for hours to look for separated families.

South Sudan has been mired in conflict between the government of President Salva Kiir and rebels led by former vice president Riek Machar since December 2013.

The conflict has killed tens of thousands, displaced almost 4 million people from their homes, including over a million refugees who have fled to the neighboring countries.

(ST)

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