Sudan claims SPLM-N recruited 900 children in South Kordofan, calls for UNICEF intervention

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January 5, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese government on Thursday filed a complaint with United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) claiming that Sudan People Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) have forcibly recruited 900 children from South Kordofan state.

The Secretary General of the Sudanese National Council for Child Welfare Gamar Khalifa Habani was quoted by local media as saying that SPLM-N moved the children away from their original areas and sent them to training camps.

Habani said that some of the kids were transferred to South Sudan describing this as a breach of their rights and a violation of international conventions in this regard.

During her meeting with UNICEF representative in Sudan Nils Kastberg she called on the world body and the United Nations Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict to investigate these allegations.

Kastberg promised to escalate the matter to the UN Secretary General for action.

The SPLM-N has been battling the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) in the border states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

The United Nations in the past has said that rebels and pro-government militias in Sudan’s western region of Darfur have been actively recruiting children since the conflict broke out in 2003.