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Resource April 29, 2019

Meet the Journalist: Patricia Huon and Andreea Câmpeanu

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Originally from Bentiu, this young man fled in December 2013 when the conflict broke out in his town. He went to a smaller town called Mayom, where the war had not yet reached. There, he wanted to keep on going to school. But in April 2014, when he was 14, government soldiers came to the town and took him away. 'I was forced to be a soldier. Many people were taken that day. I knew that they were there looking for new recruits'. He was taken for training with other young men, to a military camp. 'They would…
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Since the beginning of the conflict in South Sudan in December 2013, children have been suffering...

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Lam, a former child soldier, in the Juba Civil Protection Camp in July. Image by Andreea Campeanu. South Sudan, 2018.
Lam, a former child soldier, in the Juba Civil Protection Camp in July. Image by Andreea Campeanu. South Sudan, 2018.

"Scars and Resilience in South Sudan" focuses mainly on child soldiers in South Sudan, where, according to the UN, there are still 19,000 children associated with armed groups—a figure likely underestimated. 

Patricia Huon and Andreea Câmpeanu traveled to various places within South Sudan and conducted interviews in Bentiu, in the North, Yambio, next to the Congolese border, and the "Protection of civilian site" in the capital Juba. They also went to the refugee settlements in Uganda, where hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese refugees who fled the fighting and the exactions now live. 

Huon and  Câmpeanu asked children, boys and girls, about the way they were recruited—and collected various testimonies proving that recruitment of minors, including by government forces, is still ongoing. Yhey also spoke to NGOs, UN agencies, and government actors about the process and the challenges of demobilization. They looked at what happens after the demobilization, when children return home, and how the trauma they carry can affect not only themselves but also their families and entire communities.

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