5 November - UN Lauds the Release of Abducted Children
On behalf of the United Nations Deputy Humanitarian/Resident Coordinator for Southern Sudan, please find below a press statement on the successful rescue of abducted children in Jonglei State
The UN Deputy Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Southern Sudan, Lise Grande has welcomed the first ever rescue by the Southern Sudan Police Service of 28 abducted children in Pibor County, Jonglei State. The children, aged between 2 and 14 years, were released on October 22, 2009. The release follows a new initiative by the Commissioner of Pibor County, Mr. Akot Maze, who has vowed to stamp out the practice of child abduction in the State.
Seventeen of the children - nine Ethiopians from the Gambella Region and eight Southern Sudanese from Eastern and Central Equatoria States - were flown into Juba on an UNMIS flight on 29 October 2009 and handed over to Government of Southern Sudan representatives and the Ethiopian Consular-General. The remaining four children will be brought to Juba during the course of the week.
Ms. Grande said she hopes that the other children still in abduction will be released soon and that those who are currently in Juba will be reunited with their families as soon as possible.
"We call upon the relevant authorities to ensure that all children still in captivity be released as soon as possible, and that the practice of child abduction is brought to a stop wherever they may be in Southern Sudan."
The released children are being accommodated temporarily at the Totto Chana Centre in Juba. UNICEF has been working on the registration and relevant documentation of the children to facilitate a family-tracing exercise and consequent reunification as well as follow up monitoring.