Many boys kidnapped to be child soldiers: South Sudan 

sudan

March 1, Sudan: Hundreds of boys in South Sudan have been kidnapped and forced to become child soldiers, the United Nations children’s agency in a press statement said.

Unicef report said that it was a big increase from the 89 children reported abducted last month.The statement also blamed a militia group allied to the government.

South Sudan is in a state of civil war with forces loyal to President Salva Kiir pitted against rebels led by former Vice-President Riek Machar.

Human Rights Watch, the campaign group has accused both sides of using child soldiers.

Unicef said that the boys were abducted by the Shilluk Militia, under the control of Johnson Oloni. The government has previously said it has no control over the group.

Unicef’s representative in South Sudan, Jonathan Veitch said, “We fear that the children are going from the classroom to the front line.”

According to the UN, Witnesses report seeing children as young as 12 carrying guns. The seizure of the boys happened in an area known as Wau Shilluk, in oil-rich Upper Nile state.

The UN believes 12,000 children were used as child soldiers across South Sudan last year.

About 1.5 million people have been displaced by the fighting in the country and 2.5 million are facing severe food shortages.

The Oslo Times

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