On 21 March, a boy holds his registration number following a ceremony formalizing his release from the South Sudan Democratic Army (SSDA) Cobra Faction armed group, in the remote village of Lekuangole, in Jonglei State.
On 21 March 2015 in South Sudan, up to 250 children – including four girls, one as young as 9 – were released today from the South Sudan Democratic Army (SSDA) Cobra Faction armed group. Another 400 are being released over the next two days. The release happened in the remote village of Lekuangole, in Jonglei State. It is the third release of children following a peace deal between the Faction and the Government. The Government’s National Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Commission (NDDRC) and UNICEF are working together to care for the children and reintegrate them in their communities. The Cobra Faction has advised UNICEF that they have up to 3,000 children in their armed group. In a ceremony led by the NDDRC formalizing the children’s release, the children exchanged their weapons and uniforms for civilian clothing. UNICEF then took responsibility for looking after the children at an interim care centre in the village, where they are being provided with food, shelter and medical care. UNICEF and partners will begin the process of tracing their families and, where necessary, providing psychosocial support.