Title: Sudan Liberation Movement /Army – SLM/A MM Operational Mechanism to End Recruitment and Use of Ch
Author: حركة تحرير السودان قيادة مناوي
Date: 08-07-2014, 05:59 PM
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
حركة/ جيش تحرير السودان
Sudan Liberation Movement/Army SLM/A MM
No. SLM, G C/02/2014
Date, August 6, 2014
Sudan Liberation Movement /Army – SLM/A MM
Operational Mechanism to End Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers
Reference is made to the Command Order issued by the Leadership of SLM/A on 17 December 2013, prohibiting recruitment and use of child soldiers. The issuance of the order followed the Technical Workshop on Human Rights, Peace and Security organized in December 2013, in Addis Ababa, by UNAMID Joint Special Representative/ Joint Chief Mediator in partnership with Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
Recalling the “Action Plan between the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) and the United Nations Children’s Fund regarding Children associated with SLM/A" signed on 11 June 2007. The preamble of the Plan referred to the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) of 5 May 2006 between the Sudan Liberation Movement/ Army (SLM/A) and the Government of Sudan in which “the Parties committed to take responsibilities for all boys and girls associated with armed forces and groups and to provide special protection for women, children, vulnerable and those with disabilities”.
Despite the lack of success in the implementation of the DPA, the Leadership of SLM/A remains fully dedicated to protecting children in compliance with local, regional and international legal instruments, norms and standards protecting children, in particular Sudan Child Act of 2010 (Paragraph 44) which “prohibits the recruitment of Children in armed forces, or in armed groups, or employment thereof to participate in war actions”.
SLM/A herewith reiterates its full adherence to the Cape Town Principles of 1997 and the Paris Principles of 2007, which define “A “child soldier “or “child associated with an armed force or armed group” as: any person under 18 years of age who is part of any kind of regular or irregular armed force or armed group in any capacity, including but not limited to cooks, porters, messengers, and those accompanying such groups, other than purely as family members. It includes Girls recruited for sexual purposes and forced marriage. It does not, therefore, only refer to a child who is carrying or has carried arms.”
This broad definition of a ‘child soldier’ reflects the complexity of internal conflict, the case of Darfur in particular, where combats take place at community levels noting that armed groups are also part of the communities. In such situations where all, children and adults, are members of the same communities, it is extremely difficult to guaranty that association of children with combatants never takes place. The definition of a “child soldier” grants exception to association with “family members”. Meanwhile in African societies children are seen, considered and treated as “purely family members” by the communities. The community is a family. The immediate family is the community and children are the children of the community.
Considering the above, it appears the definition of a “child soldier” was made on the basis of concept of family that is different from that of Africans and is rather limited to the notion of parenthood and restraint family limited to father, mother, the child and may be few close relatives or guardian as applicable to other societies.
While underlining the inadequacy in this broad definition of a “child soldier” that should be subject of revision, SLM/A fully adheres to the spirit of such definition which aims to grant maximum protection to children in situation of armed conflict, internal conflict in particular which is highly complex by nature and exposes children to extreme vulnerabilities.
SLM/A is with the conviction that ending recruitment and use of child soldiers depends on the will of the leadership of all parties to a conflict to take the necessary actions and follow through such actions for full compliance. In this regard, SLM/A herewith follows up on the Command Order issued by its Leadership with the establishment of an Operational Mechanism to End Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers (OMERUCS).
The Command Order issued by the Leadership of SLM/A would not be effective without the revitalization of the Action Plan SLM/A signed with UNICEF on 11 June 2007 through establishment of an Operational Mechanism to End Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers ( OMERUCS) the context of the conflict in Darfur factored. It is important to note that children concerned at the time SLM/A signed such Action Plan, in 2007, have now grown up adults. Under the OMERUCS, SLM/A will continue to release any child found in its ranks and is prepared to hand him/her over to the UN to facilitate reintegration.
The OMERUCS is established in compliance with UN Security Council resolutions 1539(2004) and 1612(2005) requesting parties to armed conflicts to establish plans to end recruitment and use of child soldiers.
SLM/A fully adheres to ongoing efforts by the United Nations to eradicate recruitment and use of child soldiers in Darfur. SLM/A congratulates all the parties in Darfur which established Actions Plans to end such violations and appeal to the armed groups and armed forces to free Darfur from recruitment and use of child soldiers, to save the future of Darfur as part of the best peace dividend for our children, for our families. This war will end, Darfur will last forever.
SLM/A acknowledges that identification, release and reintegration of children associated with parties to the conflict is and should remain part of “Early Engagement “ and should not await a formal DDR Program as part of a Peace Agreement.
1) The Leadership of SLM/A herewith establishes an Implementation Committee of senior level members of SLM/A comprised of the Executive and Political Bureau, as well as, Field Commanders tasked with the responsibility to oversee the effective implementation of this Operational Mechanism to End Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers (OMERUCS).
2) The Implementation Committee mandate will last for six months from the date of signature of the OMERUCS by the Chairman of SLM/A.
3) The Chairman of SLM/A will share with the Commissioner for Peace and Security of the African Union and the Secretary- General of the United Nations copy of 1st Progress Report of the Implementation Committee three months after establishment and, thereafter at the end of the six months.
4) Where circumstances do not allow full implementation within six months, the Chairman will extend the mandate of the Committee for additional six months the AU/UN notified.
5) The members of the implementation committee are:
A) Yahya Idris Elnour (SADAM) Chair
Secretary for Humanitarian Affairs
B) Abdelhameed Bashier Manes Deputy Chair
Advisor to Chairman for Local Administration Affairs
C) Adam Juma Member
D) Abdalla Mousa Mursal Member
Secretary for Media and Public Relations, Official Spokes Person
E) Bushara Manago Jido Member
Secretary for Youth and Students
The Implementation Committee is assigned the responsibility to:
6) Conduct awareness raising campaign amongst members of SLM/A on the prohibition of recruitment and use of child soldiers, with the broad definition of a child soldier under the Cape Town and Paris Principles well explained. Copy of the Command Order in Arabic prohibiting recruitment and use of child soldiers must be continuously disseminated.
7) Conduct awareness rising at community level on the negative impacts of association of children with fighters as combatants in support of the war efforts. Encourage communities to rather keep children at schools and encourage education where possible for a brighter future of Darfur.
8) Conducts a survey of children associated with members of SLM/A and provide a list for each area with the number of children found, including name, age, name of locality (sector), place of origin and name of the commander of the area.
• The child must be under 18 years of age.
• Where there is doubt over the age, the boy or girl must be listed with approximate age bracket indicated.
• The child must be identified as combatant, potter, messenger, laborer or accompanying combatants or in sexual relations with combatants.
9) Submit detailed lists of identified children to the Chairman of SLM/A for handover to the United Nations.
10) Meet and discuss with the United Nations designated Focal Points modalities of handover of identified children for registration and reintegration.
Commander in chief
Mini Arko Minawi
CHAIRMAN /SLM/A MM
Date August 6, 2014
• Transmitted UNAMID Joint Special Representative and Joint Chief Mediator (JSR/JCM), Prof. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, for the Attention of the Commissioner for Peace and Security of the African Union and the United Nations Secretary-General.
• Open to the world public at large.