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UNICEF fears hundreds of children seized by Sudani militia

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SOUTH SUDAN: The United Nations children agency said on Sunday in a press release that it fears hundreds of children that were seized by terrorists from a village in northern South Sudan two weeks ago are likely to be recruited as child soldiers to form an anti-government force.

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One week ago, UNICEF revealed that 89 children preparing for exams were kidnapped by terrorists of South Sudan to be recruited as child soldiers. But the organization now believes the number of children may be in hundreds.

On the basis of information provided by staff of UNICEF and UN Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism partners, UNICEF is confident that the armed group involved in kidnapping was Shilluk Militia that is under the control of Johnson Oloni. This group is aligned with the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) force.

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However, from reports received up to now it is clear that the children are not together in a single group. UNICEF understands some of the children, including some of the school boys, were allowed back into their village to eat with their parents and in some instances some children were allowed to go to school. They were then taken away again at night.

The SPLA stated that the Johnson Oloni militia was outside its control. UNICEF appeals to Johnson Oloni to let free children to go back to school and be with their families.

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