Children released by armed groups in South Sudan
On October 26, 2016, a total of 145 children were released by armed groups in South Sudan. This is the largest number of children freed since 2015, when 1,775 children were released in the Greater Pibor Administrative Area.
During their release from the Cobra Faction and the SPLA in Opposition, the children were formally disarmed and provided with civilian clothes. Medical screenings were carried out and the children were registered for a reintegration programme.
Over the coming months, all released children will receive counselling and psychosocial support. They will be placed in an interim care centre until their families can be traced. Following their reunification, the children’s families will be provided with three months’ worth of food assistance as a take-home package as well as livestock to supplement household income during the reintegration process.
An estimated 16,000 children have been recruited by armed forces and armed groups in South Sudan since the onset of fighting that began in December 2013. More than 800 children are estimated to have been recruited since the beginning of 2016.
UNICEF has been working with the Government of South Sudan’s National Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Commission to secure the release and reintegration of children associated with armed forces and armed groups and to provide the children with livelihood and education opportunities. UNICEF requires an additional US$4,000,000 to continue providing the services needed by the children released today and those expected to be released in the future.
To learn more about UNICEF’s response in South Sudan, click here.