New York, 25 March 2010 – The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy, praised the Ceasefire Agreement recently signed between the Government of Sudan and the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM), of which the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) is a member. The agreement contains critical provisions to protect children affected by the conflict.

The commitment requires the immediate release to the United Nations of all boys and girls associated with fighting forces, in line with the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of Children and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict.

“We hope that the ceasefire will be the beginning of a lasting peace in Sudan,” said Ms. Coomaraswamy “and that the parties will quickly prepare Action Plans to identify and release the children in their ranks, as it has been requested by the Security Council.” The Special Representative also stressed that the parties should now ensure that provisions for children are included in the Peace Agreement that should follow the ceasefire.

The Special Representative visited Sudan last November to facilitate dialogue with the parties, following the recommendations of the 2009 Secretary-General’s report on the situation of children and armed conflict, and in the context of Security Council Resolution 1612 (2005).

For further information, please contact:

Luca Solimeo, Communication Officer – Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict – – +1 917-367-3563