SOUTH SUDAN / ARMED GROUPS CHILDREN

26-Jul-2019 00:01:08
After three months of negotiations by the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), UNICEF, armed groups and national partners, thirty-two boys and young men were released from the ranks of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army In-Opposition loyal to Riek Machar at a ceremony in MirMir. UNMISS
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STORY: SOUTH SUDAN / ARMED GROUPS CHILDREN
TRT: 1:08
SOURCE: UNMISS
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGES: ENGLISH /NATS

DATELINE: 23 JULY 2019, MIRMIR, SOUTH SUDAN
SHOTLIST
1. Various shots, former child soldiers
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Federica Pentaleoni, Child Protection Specialist, Unicef:
“Everyone was actually crying over the phone when we called them. Most of them, they told us they were not certain they would see their children again. There was lots of emotion and definitely they are waiting for them to go back.”
3. Various shot, Sstaff preparing gifts for released children
4. Various shots, SPLA-IO soldiers
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Taban Deng Gai Spokesperson for the First Vice-President, Taban Deng Gai, Agel Riek Machar:
“What has happened over the last few years, we have to end it. We have to find it in our hearts to reconcile, forgive ourselves and unite ourselves as brothers of one country, who liberated this country together.”
6. Various shot, handing-over gifts to children
STORYLINE
Thirty-two boys and young men were released from the ranks of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army In-Opposition loyal to Riek Machar at a ceremony in MirMir.

It took three months of negotiations by the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), UNICEF, armed groups and national partners to secure their release. The next step is to reconnect the young people with their families.

SOUNDBITE (English) Federica Pentaleoni, Child Protection Specialist, Unicef:
“Everyone was actually crying over the phone when we called them. Most of them, they told us they were not certain they would see their children again. There was lots of emotion and definitely they are waiting for them to go back.”

After spending last five years fighting for and supporting opposition forces in the Unity region of South Sudan, the young men are facing the challenge of reintegration into their communities and the authorities need to ensure that they are given the support they need so that they don’t return to the armed forces, including access to education.

Speaking on behalf of South Sudan’s First Vice-President Riek Machar, Taban Deng Gai, his official spokesperson said “what has happened over the last few years, we have to end it. We have to find it in our hearts to reconcile, forgive ourselves and unite ourselves as brothers of one country, who liberated this country together.”
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