Sudan Hands UN a Protest over Evacuation of Child Rebel Soldiers
The Sudanese government has handed the United Nations an official protest for having evacuated child rebel soldiers from southern Sudan without consulting Khartoum, reported AFP.
Sudan's deputy foreign minister Awad al-Karim Fadlallah on Saturday submitted a protest memorandum to the UN representative in Khartoum, Roger Guarda, over the airlift, the agency said.
Khartoum considers the evacuation as an "irresponsible act and a violation of all agreements signed with the UN, which require prior approval and complete transparency," according to the memorandum quoted by the radio.
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) announced Tuesday that more than 2,500 child soldiers serving in the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) have been airlifted from war zones in southern Sudan.
The children, aged 8-18, were relocated to transit centers near the Sudanese town of Rumbek where they were to receive food and psychological help for four to nine months.
According to UNICEF's report on Sudan for the year 2000, the agency made significant progress in 2000 toward initiating the process of demobilizing 9,000 child soldiers reportedly fighting or working with the rebel forces.
"Almost 500 children have left the SPLA this year and are now receiving an education and other assistance," said the report.
An estimated 38,000 children in south Sudan desperately need to be cared for at supplemental and therapeutic feeding centers, but due to a lack of funding, cease-fire violations, and inclement weather, the agency is reaching only 15,000 to 17,000 of these children, added the report - Albawaba.com
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