Hundreds of Children recruited by Armed Groups in South Sudan, as Violations against Women and Children Increase (19.08.2016)

South Kordofan Sudan

An estimated 16,000 children have been recruited by armed groups and armed forces since the crisis in South Sudan first began in December 2013.

NEW YORK, United States of America, August 19, 2016 -More than 650 children have been recruited into armed groups in South Sudan since the beginning of this year, UNICEF said today. Fearful that renewed conflict could put tens of thousands of children at ever greater risk, UNICEF called for an immediate end to recruitment and the unconditional release of all children by armed actors.

An estimated 16,000 children have been recruited by armed groups and armed forces since the crisis in South Sudan first began in December 2013. UNICEF said children continue to be recruited and used by armed groups and forces despite widespread political commitment to end the practice. “The dream we all shared for the children of this young country has become a nightmare,” said UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Justin Forsyth, speaking from Nairobi following a trip to Bentiu and Juba in South Sudan. “At this precarious stage in South Sudan’s short history, UNICEF fears that a further spike in child recruitment could be imminent.”

In 2015 UNICEF oversaw the release of 1,775 former child soldiers in what was one of the largest demobilizations of children ever. Renewed fighting and recruitment in South Sudan risks undermining much of this progress.

UNICEF also highlighted increased grave violations in the world’s youngest country, noting that gender-based violence, already pervasive, has greatly intensified during the current crisis.

“Children continue to endure horrific ordeals,” said Forsyth. “Recent reports point to widespread sexual violence against girls and women. The systematic use of rape, sexual exploitation and abduction as a weapon of war in South Sudan must cease, together with the impunity for all perpetrators.”

UNICEF noted that unconditional access for all humanitarian interventions in Juba and all other parts of the country is urgently needed so as to provide support, protection, and assistance to children and women across the country.“Without a fully operational humanitarian sector, the consequences for children and their families will be catastrophic,” said Forsyth.

Press Release: Update on the Press Conference of the Legitimate FVP Dr. Riek Machar (18.08.2016)

SPLM-IO 18.08.2016

INTERVIEW: Machar flees, said to be in ‘neighbouring country’ (Youtube-Clip)

“Mabior Garang, a spokesman for Riek Machar’s SPLM-In Opposition party, joins us live in our Studios to give us further information on the former vice President’s situation. Here are the questions…
Q1. Mabior… Do you know where doctor Riek Machar is and his current condition?
Q2. While refusing to return to Juba, until after the deployment of a buffer force, DR Machar had insisted on staying on in South Sudan. Why has he found it necessary to leave the country now? What is is his plan?
Q3. President Salva Kiir and his new First Vice President Taban Gai Deng, have insisted that there is now no role for Riek Machar in the Unity government and that the country can implement the peace deal without him. What’s Riek Machar’s view on this?” (CCTV Africa, 2016)

South Sudan Conflict: Interview with David Lomuria from Juba (Youtube-Clip)

Press Release: The Successful Evacuation of the Legitimate First Vice President of South Sudan (17.08.2016)

SPLM-IO 17.08.2016

Machar warned onslaught against Kiir will be crushed (Youtube-Clip)

“Newly appointed South Sudan Vice President Taban Deng Gai on Wednesday warned his predecessor Dr Riek Machar that he will be stopped at all costs if he attempts to go on the offensive. Gai who was in Kenya to brief President Uhuru Kenyatta on the progress of implementing the peace agreement warned that President Salva Kiir’s government would not allow Machar to interfere with peace and security of South Sudan” (Capital FM Kenya, 2016)

37,200 South Sudanese Sheltering in UN House Protection Site in Juba (17.08.2016)

UN House Juba

Facing insecurity and hunger, more than 190,000 people continue to seek protection at PoC sites across the country, in Juba, Bentiu, Malakal, Wau, Bor and Melut. 

JUBA, South Sudan, August 17, 2016 – An estimated 37,200 displaced persons are currently seeking protection at one of the two UN peacekeeping bases in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, according to a population count held at the UN House protection of civilians (PoC) site on 13 August.

Renewed violence and instability have generated new displacement in South Sudan in recent months. Facing insecurity and hunger, more than 190,000 people continue to seek protection at PoC sites across the country, in Juba, Bentiu, Malakal, Wau, Bor and Melut.

The majority of the 37,200 internally displaced persons (IDPs) living at the UN House PoC site fled the violence that erupted in Juba on 15 December 2013 and quickly spread throughout the country. Thousands more fled to the base when fighting resumed in the capital between government and opposition forces in July 2016.

To determine the current size of the IDP population in the site, IOM joined ACTED, camp manager of the UN House PoC site, and other UN and non-governmental organizations to conduct the population count. The exercise began before dawn to ensure accuracy, with a house-to-house operation.

The population count is important for the delivery of services, particularly food assistance. The exercise will improve planning for humanitarian assistance and enable the UN World Food Programme to provide food for the full population registered at the site.

“Interagency cooperation was essential to the success of the exercise. Staff from 15 agencies participated in the population count, from planning to logistics to implementation,” said Andrea Paiato, IOM Camp Coordination and Camp Management Programme Coordinator.

UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) peacekeeping troops and UN Police provided security, while camp management and partners conducted a messaging campaign before registration.

The fighting in Juba in July displaced at least 15,000 people, of which more than 12,500 remain displaced at the UN House PoC site, UNMISS peacekeeping base in Tong Ping and collective centres.

IOM is coordinating with relief agencies to provide emergency assistance to IDPs at the Tong Ping site, managing an emergency health care clinic, providing shelter and ensuring access to safe drinking water. ACTED continues to facilitate humanitarian operations at the UN House PoC site.