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Torit: Over 200 children trapped on battleground

Children appealing for an end to violence in South Sudan during Peace Day. PHOTO//unknown

The head of the UN mission in the country says more than 200 children and their helpers have been trapped in an orphanage on the outskirts of Torit town.

David Shearer told Journalists during a press conference in Juba this morning that the armed groups have taken positions on either side of the orphanage.

“The government and oppositions forces have taken a better position on either side of an orphanage just outside the town. I want to speak about the situation in Torit. I am particularly concerned about the situation there,” he stated.

“It’s unacceptable that 250 children and people who care for them are in no man’s land between warring parties.”

He says the government has granted UNMISS access to the area after the mission made a request to patrol the area.

“Yesterday, we received the okay to move from the central command and I hope they move and look at the orphanage and check on their conditions there,” he added.

Mr. Shearer says UNMISS has dispatched a patrol team of peacekeepers to check the conditions of the children.

He has called on the warring parties to withdraw from the area around the orphanage.

Both the SPLA and the opposition forces have not commented.