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Story Publication logo February 12, 2019

Soudan du Sud Itinéraire d'un Enfant Soldat


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…

In South Sudan, the trauma of the war and the use of child soldiers is transmitted from one...

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A 16 years old former child soldier is posing for a photo in his shelter in the UN base in Bentiu, in South Sudan.

To reinforce their ranks, the various armed factions fighting in the civil war that has ripped South Sudan apart since December 2013 have enlisted thousands of children. Depending on their age, boys are sent to fight or serve as porters and bodyguards. Girls are most often "taken as wives" by the commanders and their men, which is a euphemism to describe a captivity marked by repeated rapes and other abuse.

According to the UN, there are still 19,000 children in armed forces in South Sudan, which is probably a conservative estimate. Despite several releases, the recruitment continues.

The use of children under the age of 15 in armed forces is a war crime—to highlight this ongoing issue, Unicef ​​made February 12 the International Day of Child Soldiers. They're the often invisible victims of conflicts they have no control over.

Read the full story in French at Libération.



war and conflict reporting


War and Conflict

War and Conflict
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