Darfur Child Soldiers
In a fatherly humanitarian gesture, President of the Republic pardoned the Darfur child soldiers who were involved in JEM sabotage attempt of last May on Omdurman. Before declaring the Presidential pardon, the government had taken several humanitarian actions towards those children in such steps as establishment of the rehabilitation centre and separating them from adults.
These measures were very much appreciated by all civil society organizations and international agencies who visited the site located in northern part of Khartoum where they found it very well prepared to accommodate those children, besides the reintegration programmes.
UNICEF and ICRC country representatives visited the site to monitor the situation and found it quite satisfactory. That is to say that the Presidential pardon will be faced with huge task of reintegrating those children into society after seeing terrible things including fighting.
It will not be an easy job but there is a good model in Eastern Sudan when an integration programme was initiated for child soldiers reintegration into the society.
What is needed is designing a programme with the involvement of National Council for Child Welfare (NCCW) and the assistance of UNICEF and NGOs such as Save the Children (Sweden). The national companies such as ZAIN, MTN, Kenana, GIAD and also the national funds and banks are urged to participate and contribute in funding the programme.
Needless to say that the main obstacle for such a programme is funding as has been witnessed in the Eastern Sudan programme, so the government should look for the funding to guarantee that those children should again join the society and be useful citizens. Therefore all child concerned institutions should campaign and mobilize to help those innocent children and make the Presidential pardon a success.