SOUTH SUDAN / VIOLATIONS AGAINST CHILDREN

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20-Feb-2019 00:02:27
Participants at a three-day workshop break out into groups to discuss a way forward for a final draft that will lead to a Comprehensive Action Plan aimed at preventing violations against children in armed conflict. UNMISS

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STORY: SOUTH SUDAN / VIOLATIONS AGAINST CHILDREN
TRT: 2:27
SOURCE: UNMISS
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH/ NATS

DATELINE: 19 FEBRUARY 2019, JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN

SHOTLIST:

1. Various shots, group sessions and discussions
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Alfred Orono Orono, Chief of Child Protection, United Nations Mission in South Sudan:
“The children of South Sudan need peace and they need freedom, they need to be secure, like all the children in the whole world. They need to be doing things that children do, they need to go back to school, they need to be productive members of their community in the future and that cannot be done within conflict and that cannot be done if they are part of the armed forces or if their schools are attacked or destroyed – if they are denied the humanitarian access. All these things cannot happen – the future of the children in this country cannot happen with that background.”
3. Various shots, workshop
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Kuol Manyang Juuk, General Minister of Defense:
“There is a standing command order to all the field commanders to report any illegal recruitment of children in the army. The Department of Child Protection and the Assistant Chief of Defense Forces of Moral Orientation, has conducted numerous workshops in the divisions and units on how to discourage children joining the army and how to identify children and report them to the nearest civil authority.”
5. Med shot, uniformed personnel
6. SOUNDBITE (English) South Sudanese Opposition Alliance Bangasi Joseph Bakasoro:
“Let us move together with our brothers and sisters in different countries to make sure that we are respected as a family of the global world; respecting the rule of law, respecting human rights and respecting the rights of children to demobilize them in all our ranks.”
7. Various shots, workshop sessions

STORYLINE:

South Sudan’s armed forces have been challenged to end violations against children and take concrete action to protect the country’s children by ensuring their recruitment and abuse is halted.

Participants at a three-day workshop break out into groups to discuss a way forward for a final draft that will lead to a Comprehensive Action Plan aimed at preventing violations against children in armed conflict.

The participants are a mixed batch, including senior military generals and commanders from South Sudan People’s Defense Force, other armed groups like the SPLA-IO and the South Sudan Opposition Alliance, civil society representatives, and officials from the National Demobilization and Disarmament Commission.

They are motivated by a shared desire to help delist South Sudan from a report of the United Nations Secretary-General that rates the country as a persistent perpetrator of grave violations against children.

SOUNDBITE (English) Chief of Child Protection, United Nations Mission in South Sudan, Alfred Orono Orono:
“The children of South Sudan need peace and they need freedom, they need to be secure, like all the children in the whole world. They need to be doing things that children do, they need to go back to school, they need to be productive members of their community in the future and that cannot be done within conflict and that cannot be done if they are part of the armed forces or if their schools are attacked or destroyed – if they are denied the humanitarian access. All these things cannot happen – the future of the children in this country cannot happen with that background.”

Each of the break-out groups is looking at two of the violations. There are six grave violations in all, that continue to be committed in South Sudan, including: the recruitment and use of children; killing and maiming; rape and other forms of sexual violence; abduction and attacks on schools and hospitals and denial of humanitarian access.

At the official opening, participants were challenged to come up with an air-tight document which will be adopted and implemented by South Sudan. An initial Action Plan was signed on in 2009 by the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) now the SSPDF, revised in 2012 and recommitted to in 2014.

But efforts to implement it were interrupted by the civil war that erupted in 2016.

In his opening remarks, the Minister of Defense pledged the government’s full support and called on organized forces and other armed groups to ensure that children are protected rather than recruited as fighters.

SOUNDBITE (English) General Minister of Defense Kuol Manyang Juuk:
“There is a standing command order to all the field commanders to report any illegal recruitment of children in the army. The Department of Child Protection and the Assistant Chief of Defense Forces of Moral Orientation, has conducted numerous workshops in the divisions and units on how to discourage children joining the army and how to identify children and report them to the nearest civil authority.”

While acknowledging that “crimes and mistakes” have been committed against children and humanitarian agencies, an official of the South Sudan Opposition Alliance, Bangasi Joseph Bakasoro, said enough was enough.

SOUNDBITE (English) South Sudanese Opposition Alliance Bangasi Joseph Bakasoro:
“Let us move together with our brothers and sisters in different countries to make sure that we are respected as a family of the global world; respecting the rule of law, respecting human rights and respecting the rights of children to demobilize them in all our ranks.”

This consultative effort has been put together by the South Sudan Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism – an effort of both UNMISS and UNICEF, in collaboration with SSPDF, and will hopefully create a document that will prevent the future suffering of the children of South Sudan.
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UNMISS
Alternate Title
unifeed190220b
Asset ID
2359265