Title: UNICEF discloses that (300) child soldiers were released in South Sudan
Author: SudaneseOnline News
Date: 02-11-2015, 05:03 PM
05:03 PM Feb, 11 2015
SudaneseOnline News-Khartoum Sudan
My Library at SudaneseOnline
UNICEF disclosed that (300) child soldiers were released in South Sudan on Tuesday, as part of a broader plan to free up to 3,000 young fighters from the country's civil war.
The children's release in Pibor, Jonglei State, is part of a peace deal between the South Sudan Democratic Army (SSDA) Cobra Faction and the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA). An initial 280 children, aged between 11 and 17, were released late January. UNICEF said between 2,000 and 3,000 should be freed from the Cobra Faction as it integrates into the SPLA.
The use of child soldiers in South Sudan surged after civil war broke out in December 2013, with UNICEF estimating the number to have peaked somewhere around 12,000. Violence was so rife that many of the children joined the Cobra Faction for protection, according to UNICEF spokeswoman Doune Porter.
"They thought they would be safer in the ranks of the military where they were surrounded by people with guns, and of course many of them were trained in how to use guns," she said.
However, Porter said the children found life extraordinarily difficult was now "delighted" to be leaving the Cobra Faction.
"I don't want to be a soldier," one boy, aged 12, told UNICEF. "I will end up with nothing by being a soldier and I know one day I'll get killed if I continue being a soldier. First, I want to go to school, and then later I want to study medicine."
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