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JEM rebels ban use of child soldiers

September 17, 2012 (KHARTOUM) — The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) ordered its troops to demobilize child soldiers and prohibited their recruitment in the future.

The rebel group recently issued a Command Order banning the use of child soldiers following talks with the hybrid peacekeeping operation in Darfur (UNAMID) hosted by the Austrian Study Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution in Stadtschlaining, last July.

JEM directed its members to "fully adhere to the international and local laws governing the protection of children in armed conflict". It further ordered its field commanders to disseminate the Command Order related to this demobilization and reintegration process.

UNAMID acting chief Aichatou Mindaoudou welcomed the move stressing that " soldiering is detrimental to peace and to children who are the future of Darfur." The Nigerien diplomat further urged the other armed group to follow JEM example.

JEM is the latest group to ban the use of child soldier. The other groups committed to this measure include the Sudan Liberation Movement of Abdel Wahid Al-Nur and Liberation and Justice Movement, signatory of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur.

(ST)