Health Care

United Nations says hundreds of child soldiers freed in South Sudan

United Nations says hundreds of child soldiers freed in South Sudan”

More than 300 child soldiers have been released from armed groups in South Sudan, the United Nations has announced.

Hundreds of protesters massed outside the U.S. embassy and United Nations headquarters in South Sudan's capital on Tuesday, chanting slogans against an arms embargo imposed by Washington, before some attacked journalists at the scene.

"Children should not be carrying guns and killing each other". It says that more than 800 have been recruited this year alone.

At a formal ceremony, the children were disarmed and were provided with civilian clothes as well as medical screenings.

"They will have endured suffering, including sexual abuse".

The aid agency said the initiative was under a programme to help reintegrate them into society.

According to UNICEF, the UN's children agency, both sides are using children to fight. "It is vital that they receive the support they need to rejoin their communities and that they are welcomed home by family and friends without any sense of stigma". UNICEF estimates that around 16,000 children are now fighting or working as porters with armed groups in South Sudan, including the national army.

Protesters held banners denouncing colonialism and chanted "America mind your own business, stop the arms embargo against South Sudan". It also sent engineers to fix a road between Yambio and a vocational training centre nearby to make sure that the young people can travel safely for training programmes.

"These children now have an opportunity to rebuild their lives". Release efforts have also been also complicated by fighting as the one witnessed in the region in July 2016 that stalled the momentum.



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