Sudan

'416 unaccompanied children' from Jebel Marra in camps

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March 18 - 2016 KABKABIYA

Hundreds of children from 3 to 18 years old have arrived without their families in camps in Kabkabiya locality, North Darfur, in the past month.

The six camps in Kabkabiya have received 416 children and youth in a single month, a coordinator of the camps told Radio Dabanga. These children registered their names upon arrival in the camps, often without family members. The initiative to register the unaccompanied children lasted from 28 February until 18 March.

“We discovered that their situations can be divided into four groups,” the coordinator explained. “Firstly, some of the children managed to reach Kabkabiya by themselves, after escaping the fighting between the army, militiamen, and armed rebels in Jebel Marra.

“There are those who were found by passers-by alongside the road or hiding in the bushes. These people brought the children to the camps. Thirdly, some children arrived here after their families asked people on their way to Kabkabiya to take them along.

“A number of children said that they had arrived here with family members, but were left with relatives when the mother or someone else returned to the village to retrieve others or belongings. These family members have not returned to the camp so far.”

Additionally, the coordinators gathered 63 declarations of missing children from Jebel Marra, mostly by their parents, in total.

The hundreds of registered names were handed to a local children's association that will work to track missing children, and reunite them with families.

The majority of the people fleeing the attacks on villages and the clashes between the Sudanese army and the armed rebel movement in Jebel Marra, have been women and children.