The information below is based on the Report of the Secretary-General to the Security Council (A/67/845–S/2013/245) issued on 15 May 2013.
During the reporting period, the country task force verified the recruitment and use of 252 boys between 14 and 17 years of age. Of those boys, 106 were associated with the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), 68 with militia allied to David Yau Yau, Gabriel Tanginyang and Peter Gadet, 53 with militia allied to Hassan Deng in Northern Bahr el Ghazal State and 25 with militia allied to General James Kubrin Ngare. Children associated with SPLA were identified in convoys protecting high-ranking officials, wearing SPLA uniforms, during SPLA military recruitment drives and in SPLA barracks.
The country task force reported that 18 boys and 5 girls were killed and 23 boys and 8 girls injured in Jonglei, Unity, Upper Nile and Western Bahr el Ghazal States during the reporting period. In two separate incidents in 2012, a child was reportedly killed and a 6-year-old boy reportedly injured during clashes between SPLA and militia allied to David Yau Yau in Jonglei State. In addition, in April 2012, four children were injured by explosive remnants of war in Bentiu, Unity State. The country task force also received reports of child casualties as a result of aerial bombardments.
During the reporting period, the country task force obtained information on eight cases of sexual violence affecting 12 girls. SPLA soldiers in Jonglei, Unity and Western Bahr el Ghazal States were allegedly responsible for six of those incidents. The country task force also reported the abduction of girls for sexual violence purposes in the context of inter-communal conflict. For example, a girl in Pibor, Jonglei State, was abducted by armed men of the Lou Nuer tribe, held in captivity for several weeks and raped. In another incident in February 2012, two girls were raped by unidentified armed men in military uniforms in Mayendit, Unity State.
SPLA reportedly used 18 schools for military purposes, 13 of which were already being so used since 2011. By the end of 2012, 15 of the schools had been vacated. The military use of the schools reportedly affected more than 13,000 children. In October 2012, Juba Day Secondary School, in Central Equatoria State, was closed for a week following a violent crackdown on student protests by the South Sudan National Police Service using live ammunition.
In 2012, 129 children were abducted in the context of inter-communal conflicts and a further 243 were documented missing. While 110 abducted children were recovered in Jonglei State during the reporting period, the whereabouts of the others remain unknown. In July and August 2012, two girls aged 10 and 13 years were allegedly abducted by SPLA members in Jonglei State. Although the United Nations inquired with SPLA about the cases, no feedback has been received to date.
The country task force received reports of at least 197 incidents of denial of humanitarian access. Forceful entry into humanitarian compounds, harassment and physical assault of humanitarian workers hampered the ability of humanitarian actors to gain access to the civilian population. During the first quarter of 2012, nine incidents of violence against humanitarian personnel by SPLA soldiers were reported in Central Equatoria and Warrap States.
On 13 March 2012, my Special Representative witnessed the signing of a revised action plan by SPLA as a renewed commitment to ceasing and preventing the recruitment and use of children. Since the signature of the action plan, a national committee, consisting of the South Sudan Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Commission, SPLA military judge advocates, the SPLA spokesperson and the United Nations, has been established to implement the provisions of the action plan.
A system of screening and early identification of children has been established. Consequently, 421 boys and 29 girls who sought to voluntarily enlist in SPLA in 2012 were rejected. SPLA also issued a series of military orders to vacate schools and to grant unimpeded access to the United Nations. The country task force was granted access to 71 SPLA barracks during the reporting period. The Government also initiated the development of civil registration and birth registration systems. Of the 252 boys identified as associated with SPLA and militia groups, 230 were released, reunited with their families and provided with reintegration support.
Parties in South Sudan
- Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA).This party has concluded an action plan with the United Nations in line with Security Council resolutions 1539 (2004) and 1612 (200 (a)