More than 200 Child Soldiers Freed in South Sudan
More than 200 child soldiers were released by armed groups in war-torn South Sudan, part of a series of releases that will see almost 1,000 children freed in the coming months.
An estimated 19,000 children are believed to be in armed forces amid the country’s 5-year civil war, which has killed tens of thousands and displaced millions. South Sudan has one of the highest numbers of child soldiers in the world, according to the U.N.
At the “laying down of the guns” ceremony, 112 boys and 95 girls were returned to their families in areas outside the town of Yambio on Tuesday. It was the first community release of child soldiers where children were directly reunited with their parents and siblings instead of first going to institutions.
To date, the U.N. has released more than 2,000 child soldiers, yet despite progress and the government’s commitment to halt the recruitment of children, advocacy groups say it continues.