SOUTH SUDAN / CHILDREN ARMED CONFLICT

Preview Language:   Original
ENGLISH 12-Jan-2018 00:04:01
The United Nations Children’s agency UNICEF, and the UN Peacekeeping Mission in South Sudan, are working in collaboration with various diplomatic Missions in South Sudan to advocate for the protection and release of children in armed conflict. UNMISS / FILE
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STORY: SOUTH SUDAN / CHILDREN ARMED CONFLICT
TRT: 4.01
SOURCE: UNMISS
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH/NATS

DATELINE: 11 JANUARY 2018, JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN / FILE

SHOTLIST:

11 JANUARY 2018, JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN

1. Wide of meeting of Group of Friends
2. Various of medium shot of meeting in progress
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Alfred Orono-Orono, Head of Child Protection at the United Nations Mission in South Sudan:
“Our work is just not about the release children in the armed conflict. It’s about all violations of the rights of children in armed conflict – that is the killing and maiming, the recruitment and use; the abductions of children; sexual violence; dialogue of humanitarian access and attacks of schools and hospitals. When you talk about the release, release is really significant in that it is a way of one first of all getting children out of the armed forces; two – it also helps educate the people that children should not be part of the armed forces; it also helps the families get the children back to them, and then provides opportunities for children to go back to school and lead the normal life that they are supposed to have but they have missed. So the importance of this group is that it provides us an opportunity to engage internationally, nationally, and local with the parties to conflict and all those people concerned who want to provide support to these children.”

FILE – 28 JANUARY 2015, PIBOR, SOUTH SUDAN

4. Wide shot, Child soldiers seated on ground under tree waiting to be released
5. Children clapping
6. Tilt down, child with gun seated on ground awaiting release

11 JANUARY 2018, JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN

7. SOUNDBITE (English) Mahimbo Mdoe, Representative, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), South Sudan Country Office:
“We will continue on pushing despite setbacks, despite delays, despite inconveniences, despite the ongoing conflict, and our job including the Group of Friends, I think also the government agrees and the different groups is to make sure these children are released now. Obviously there are issues in terms of logistics, difficult terrain and so forth, but these are challenges that can be overcome if we continue on pushing. There are challenges, I think everybody agrees, but challenges do not normally stop people from going forward, so we will continue going on forward and we will continue working. I think the most important thing to talk about are issues of reintegration – that is the difficult part. Releasing children is not the hardest part, you have to agree of course that it could lead to some difficulties – so that they go back home and they stay there – so this is what I’d really like to advocate back to communities, to the government, to these different armed groups, that once children are demobilized is not to recruit them again once conflict surges.”

FILE – 28 JANUARY 2015, PIBOR, SOUTH SUDAN

8. Various shots, children’s legs marching

11 JANUARY 2018, JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN

9. SOUNDBITE (English) Alan Hamson, Ambassador of Canada to South Sudan:
“This issue will be bound up with a host of other questions about the resolution of the conflict bringing a durable peace to South Sudan and therefore we all know it will be challenging – we think though that consideration for the special needs of children needs to be at the fore-front of those efforts because they are particularly vulnerable and they shouldn’t be caught up in these difficulties, but naturally as we struggle to bring a durable peace to South Sudan we will hopefully be able to make more sustainable gains on removing children from the battle field and preventing their recruitment.”

FILE – 28 JANUARY 2015, PIBOR, SOUTH SUDAN

10. Various shots, child soldiers handing in guns and uniform

STORYLINE:

Ambassadors from 11 countries together with the United Nations are rallying against various violations affecting Children in armed conflict and have set up a Group of Friends, aimed at engaging in political dialogue, with perpetrators of violators of signed action plans aimed at protecting children from being involved in combat activities.

Besides ensuring a staggered release of children involved in armed conflict, the Group of Friends is also gearing at being involved in public advocacy.

At their first meeting in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, they spelt out their mandate and areas they are working on.

Alfred Orono-Orono, Head of Child Protection at the United Nations Mission in South Sudan:
“Our work is just not about the release children in the armed conflict. It’s about all violations of the rights of children in armed conflict – that is the killing and maiming, the recruitment and use; the abductions of children; sexual violence; dialogue of humanitarian access and attacks of schools and hospitals. When you talk about the release, release is really significant in that it is a way of one first of all getting children out of the armed forces; two – it also helps educate the people that children should not be part of the armed forces; it also helps the families get the children back to them, and then provides opportunities for children to go back to school and lead the normal life that they are supposed to have but they have missed. So the importance of this group is that it provides us an opportunity to engage internationally, nationally, and local with the parties to conflict and all those people concerned who want to provide support to these children.”

It is estimated that there are closed to 17,000 children being used in combat in South Sudan, and a first release being pushed and supported by the different diplomatic mission and the United Nations is expected sometime in early February.

United for children, the Group of Friends say they will stand firm against the use of children in combat, despite various political and logistical setbacks.

SOUNDBITE (English) Mahimbo Mdoe, Representative, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), South Sudan Country Office:
“We will continue on pushing despite setbacks, despite delays, despite inconveniences, despite the ongoing conflict, and our job including the Group of Friends, I think also the government agrees and the different groups is to make sure these children are released now. Obviously there are issues in terms of logistics, difficult terrain and so forth, but these are challenges that can be overcome if we continue on pushing. There are challenges, I think everybody agrees, but challenges do not normally stop people from going forward, so we will continue going on forward and we will continue working. I think the most important thing to talk about are issues of reintegration – that is the difficult part. Releasing children is not the hardest part, you have to agree of course that it could lead to some difficulties – so that they go back home and they stay there – so this is what I’d really like to advocate back to communities, to the government, to these different armed groups, that once children are demobilized is not to recruit them again once conflict surges.”

The push comes after parties to the conflict in South Sudan signed an Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities, Protection of Civilians, and Humanitarian Access, which was inked in Addis Ababa, just before the close of 2017, on December 21st.

SOUNDBITE (English) Alan Hamson, Ambassador of Canada to South Sudan:
“This issue will be bound up with a host of other questions about the resolution of the conflict bringing a durable peace to South Sudan and therefore we all know it will be challenging – we think though that consideration for the special needs of children needs to be at the fore-front of those efforts because they are particularly vulnerable and they shouldn’t be caught up in these difficulties, but naturally as we struggle to bring a durable peace to South Sudan we will hopefully be able to make more sustainable gains on removing children from the battle field and preventing their recruitment.”

The Group of Friends who acknowledge support from the government and other armed groups, say removing children from the battlefield is a priority, and a process of peace-building, whose “time is now”.
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Geographic Subjects
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UNMISS
Alternate Title
unifeed180112d
Asset ID
2074912