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S. Sudan army officers urged to protect children in armed conflict

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November 1, 2017 (JUBA) - Senior South Sudanese army (SPLA) officers have been urged to show leadership by ensuring their troops protect children caught up in armed conflict and also prevent recruitment and use of children as fighters in war.

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Child soldiers sit with their rifles at a ceremony held on 10 February 2015 as part of a disarmament campaign overseen by UNICEF and partners in Pibor (AFP)

The caution was made during a training workshop organized by the child protection unit of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) for military officers to enable them understand and respect national and international legislation governing the protection of children and their own responsibilities under those laws.

Speaking at the workshop, Brigadier Gen. Chaplain Khamis said the SPLA had a responsibility to protect, to prevent and respond to direct and indirect violence, neglect, exploitation and abuse against children.

“We are fighters. We have been trained to shoot and kill but we have also been trained to observe national and international laws,” said Khamis.

“Children’s rights are human rights and they deserve special protection during armed conflict,” he added.

According to the senior army official, protecting the rights of children was an important element in ensuring peace and stability in South Sudan.

“During armed conflict, you need to pay special attention to protecting children. Why? Because they are vulnerable,” he said, adding “It is our duty to protect them.”

The government, further stressed the official, is primarily responsible for the protection of civilians, including children, through the armed forces, police, security elements and national institutions.

“Children must not be targeted in military operations. The SPLA is eager to respect and protect children’s rights in order to build a reputation of professionalism and respect for human rights,” he added.

More than 15,500 children became victims of widespread violations – including shocking levels of killing and maiming, recruitment and use, and denial of humanitarian access, a recent report from the UN Secretary General revealed.

According to the report on children and armed conflict, which was presented to the Security Council last month, children from countries such as Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen, suffered an unacceptable level of violations by parties to conflict – both government forces and non-state armed groups.

(ST)

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  • 2 November 2017 08:28, by Wutkhor

    Jiengs dirty army can’t protects any child but they can harm them, they re just harmful to the children’s in the war, jieng customs is lies, cheats, steals n taking other pples prides, Dinka’s re pathetic

    repondre message

  • 2 November 2017 08:54, by Meguaar-loong

    Wutkhor, If you want to be a leader one day one time in the country where all tribes thrive/exist, then you have to respect other tribes. Your conscience should let you know the different between leadership and the community. However, not all Dinkas are supporting either the government nor rebels for the two are fighting the war of no vision. The two have all committed crimes against children.

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  • 2 November 2017 09:01, by Meguaar-loong

    Remember, rebels killed women and children in most part of the country especially in Yei-Juba road, Nimuli-Juba road, Akoba, Malakal, Bentiu and many more meanwhile government did the same thing in Juba, in Malakal and Bentiu and in these case no one has respected any international law in regards the above.
    The rebels are not all nuer though they are majority just as the government is not all Dink

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    • 2 November 2017 11:28, by Wutkhor

      Maguar-loong or whatever u call urselves don’t remains me for ur Dinka’s tribal sentiment since u guys didn’t have human sense at all, we rebel didn’t kills anybody, I only kills nyors insects in Akobo town.. Stop Dinka’s allegations n too much propaganda. It’s my right to disrespect jieng culture of evils lies, cheats n stealing. Period.

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  • 2 November 2017 14:18, by Don-Don Malith Rual

    As national 🙋 army they are trained to shot and kill and not even shot radomelly but to shot the targets, moreover no any national army will be train to loot, rape, and steal for all these are the code of conduct in any nationalarmy.Good the Government is showing the world 🌍 the reality on the grounds of civilians protection.

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  • 2 November 2017 14:19, by Liberator

    Dear Watlion
    You are very stupid person ,who was brought up in refugees camps and you don’t go to the church nor mosque ,only you believed in (Guandeng), my dog to hate one tribe and called them insect , you will see one day, insect will enter to your eyes and make you blind, mark my word , don’t called DINKKA always insects

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  • 2 November 2017 14:24, by Liberator

    Secondly being a refugees doesn’t qualified you to insult Hero’s and liberators all the time, DINKA are the one who open the eyes of Nuer ,99 percent of Nuer population were cattle keepers, SPLA took you to schools to open you eyes and anus , stop unwanted comments on social media or otherwise you will be kick outhere. fool

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  • 2 November 2017 16:09, by Fair Man

    What?
    The 99% illiterate soldiers, including their officers and so-called c-in- C (Cheating in Cheating) can not protect civilians. The civilians are number 2 targets. That’s why has lost control of the country. He is rightly the President of Gogrial these days, not covering the whole country in practice though they claims to own the country with citizens running from him, a Dinka paramount chief.

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