The information below is based on the Report of the Secretary-General to the Security Council (A/68/878–S/2014/339) issued on 15 May 2014.
The security situation in Blue Nile and South Kordofan remained volatile owing to continued fighting, primarily between Government forces and the Sudan People Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N). Grave violations against children also resulted from fighting in West, South and North Kordofan between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF), a coalition of SPLM-N, the Justice Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudan Liberation Army factions of Minni Minawi, (SLA-MM) and Abdul Wahid (SLA-AW). The security situation and access restrictions continued to have an impact on the ability of the United Nations to verify information, although access to Government-controlled areas slightly improved.
The United Nations recorded the recruitment and use of 42 children in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, including 2 by the SAF. Both boys, 13 and 14 years of age, were recruited in Blue Nile and remained associated with SAF at the time of reporting. Of the 40 children recruited and used by armed groups, 14 children, all boys, some as young as 12, were recruited by the Popular Defence Force (PDF) in Blue Nile (5 boys) and South Kordofan (9). At least 26 children (19 boys and 7 girls) were recruited and used by SPLM-N, including 10 (5 boys and 5 girls), as young as 12, escaping from an SPLM-N camp in Mandi, South Kordofan. Sixteen children (14 boys and 2 girls) were recruited by SPLM-N in Upper Nile State, South Sudan. Three of the children reported to have received military training in Blue Nile after having been recruited in South Sudan in April. The cases confirm previous allegations about the cross-border recruitment of children between South Sudan and the Sudan.
At least six children were killed in clashes, including between SAF and SRF, and between SPLM-N and the Central Reserve Police (CRP). In addition, 10 childrenwere injured in mortar attacks by CRP (3) and SPLM-N (7). Furthermore, unexploded ordnance-related incidents resulted in at least six children being injured in Blue Nile, and six children reportedly killed and nine others injured in a single incident in Um Baraka, South Kordofan.
Sexual violence against children in the three areas continued to be underreported in 2013 owing to limited monitoring capacity and victims’ fear of stigmatization. The United Nations documented the rape of three girls, between 14 and 17 years of age, by pro-Government militias in two separate incidents in Abu Zabad, South Kordofan, on 19 November.
In the only documented attack on a school, on 19 November 2013, a mortar shell by SPLM-N hit the yard of El Manar primary school for boys in Kadugli, South Kordofan, injuring a 10-year-old boy.
Access to Abyei via Kadugli, South Kordofan, was for the first time granted in September, but was quickly disrupted owing to intensified fighting between SAF and SPLM-N. No humanitarian access has been allowed in the non-Government controlled areas of Blue Nile and South Kordofan since the conflict broke out in 2011.
The United Nations organized child protection training and orientation for 131 SAF and PDF officers. Nine children released by PDF in Abugibaiha, Talodi, and Kalogi, South Kordofan, and the 10 children who fled from the SPLM-N camp in Mandi, were reintegrated with support from the United Nations. Although the SPLM-N had expressed its intention to enter into dialogue with the United Nations to address grave violations against children in 2012, lack of access didn’t allow any follow-up.
The security situation in Darfur deteriorated owing to sporadic clashes between Government forces and armed groups as well as due to inter-communal and tribal clashes, including over natural resources. The increased mobilization and arming of children by communities further exacerbated the risk of the re-recruitment of demobilized children. The United Nations, in conducting monitoring in conjunction with the African Union through the United Nations Assistance Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), was able to verify four cases of recruitment by SAF and 14 by border guards, and received reports of 17 children allegedly recruited by SAF, border guards and SLA-AW. Challenges in monitoring and reporting in areas beyond Government control clearly limited the documentation and verification of child recruitment in Darfur.
The United Nations documented the killing of 91 children (71 boys and 20 girls) and injury to 98 others (64 boys and 34 girls). Forty-three children were shot and killed and 32 others injured during clashes between Government forces and armed groups as well as during inter- and intra-ethnic fighting. At least 31 children were killed and 14 others injured in SAF air strikes. Incidents involving explosive remnants of war also continued to be a major concern, killing 17 children and injuring 52 others.
At least 62 girls were raped in 40 separate incidents. Most cases were perpetrated by unknown armed elements, some of whom were wearing military uniforms. However, in three cases alleged perpetrators were identified as Government forces and, in one case, elements of SLA-MM. Government Police arrested a member of the Central Reserve Police for the rape of a 6-year-old girl on 17 October, and two Government Police officers were identified among the six men raping a 16-year-old girl on 5 February near the Al Meglis area of El Geneina, West Darfur. Sexual violence remained underreported owing to fear of stigmatization and reprisals by perpetrators as well as out-of-court settlements.
In three SAF air strikes on three schools in Dursa village, Central Darfur, in Um Dadeti, South Darfur, and in Tabit, North Darfur, all three schools sustained major damage and six schoolchildren were injured. In addition, between 15 and 17 April, unknown armed elements looted schools in Labado, East Darfur, following fighting between SAF and SLA-MM.
Fifteen cases of abduction of children were documented in Donkey Dreisa and in Hamada forest, South Darfur (12 cases), Labado and Muhajeria, East Darfur (2), and in Jabel Amer, West Darfur (1). For instance, in Labado and Muhajeria, a 15‑year-old girl was abducted by pro-Government militia along with her 18-year-old sister, was used as a porter and was raped before being released.
The Government of the Sudan took some positive steps to end the recruitment and use of children. On 21 July, the Government enacted a law raising the age of recruitment into PDF from 16 to 18 years and establishing 18 as the minimum age for joining the national reserve service and the national service. I am encouraged by the ongoing discussions between the United Nations and the Government of the Sudan with a view of finalizing a draft action plan to end and prevent the recruitment and use of children. Progress was also made on dialogue with JEM/Jibril Ibrahim, SLA-MM and SLA-AW, which issued command orders prohibiting child recruitment within their ranks, and with Sheik Musa Hilal, who issued a similar order to nomadic communities under his leadership. Furthermore, 405 children formerly associated with armed groups and forces, including with the disbanded SLA-Historical Leadership, received reintegration support.
Parties in Sudan
1. Government forces, including the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), the Popular Defense Forces (PDF) and the Sudan police forces (Border Intelligence Forces and Central Reserve Police)a
2. Justice and Equality Movement (JEM)a
3. Pro-Government militiasa
4. Sudan Liberation Army/Abdul Wahida
5. Sudan Liberation Army/Minni Minawia
6. Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N)a
The parties underlined have been in the annexes for at least five years and are therefore considered persistent perpetrators. (a) Parties that recruit and use children.