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UN tasks full re-integration of ex-child soldiers on gov’t

11 year-old Joseph, ex child soldier, was demobilized with the help of Unicef in Feb, 2015.

There is more that needs to be done in terms of a full re-integration of child soldiers back into society and a normal life.

This is according to the Chair of the visiting UN Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict, Olof Skoog.

Skoog addressed the media on Wednesday after meeting the First Vice President, Taban Deng Gai:

“I have had very good meetings with the government officials, with the military and police and also now with the [First] vice president.”

Recently, the UN children’s agency released 900 children from the armed forces in the country. According to the UN, there are still 19,000 children in armed forces in South Sudan.

The UN team visited reintegration programs during their 3-day visit to vocational centers for children previously recruited or used by parties to conflict in Pibor and Bor.

Skoog believed that the Revitalized Peace Agreement would bring a new opportunity to make sure that children’s protection is a priority.

“I have also made a strong point that I think the government really needs to show a political leadership on these issues as the country moves forward,” he said.

The Swedish diplomat say the government should allocate sufficient funds to the reintegration of the ex-child soldiers into their communities.

“We understand that there is much more that needs to be done in terms of a full re-integration of these children back into society and a normal life.”