Having recently discovered children linked to the army of the country’s main opposition group, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan quickly intervened to raise awareness of child protection issues related to armed groups.

“It’s part of our capacity building. They (armed groups) need to know that they are violating the rights of children, which is also a violation of international humanitarian law, ”said Moses Bagari, a child protection officer working in the peacekeeping mission and attending a seminar in Liranga, West The equator. The state.

A total of 31 officers of the main opposition army, eight of whom were women, were briefed on how they should go with respect for human rights and preventing and ending all violations of children’s rights.

The focus of the two-day training was on how to prevent and stop what are known as the six grave violations of children’s rights in armed conflict. These include the recruitment and use of children, murder and mutilation, sexual violence, attacks on schools and hospitals, abductions and denial of humanitarian access to children in need.

Despite several years of painstaking awareness of the military on how to respect children’s rights, the Liranga seminar made it clear that more capacity needs to be built on these topics.

“This is a very fruitful seminar for us, the military. If this knowledge had been given to us earlier, the violations we are discussing would not have existed. Therefore, we urge UNMISS to appeal to all commanders who have not yet been trained, ”said Captain Elena Batista.

The workshop also included sessions on the mandate of the peacekeeping mission and fundamental human rights.

“In a democratic society, it is essential that the military be aware of its human rights obligations, not just the rules of warfare. In this way, they can be partners in peace and the rule of law, ”said Leticia Marina, a human rights officer with the UN mission.

According to the military intelligence officer involved in the exercises, Brigadier General Luis Uku should exclude all armed groups in South Sudan from the list of UN forces that continue to violate the rights of children.

Some progress has been made in this regard in recent years, when both the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces and major opposition forces have been transferred to the UN list as armed groups that have taken some steps to improve respect for children’s rights. One such step was the signing of a comprehensive action plan by the two main armed forces of South Sudan to eliminate any violations of the rights of boys and girls.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

This press release was published by APO. The content is not controlled by the African Business Editorial Team, and the content has not been reviewed or validated by our editorial teams, proofreaders or factual verifications. The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this notice.

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