Monday, July 27, 2009
The United Nations is reporting that 36 child soldiers who once served with an armed rebel movement in Sudan’s Darfur region have been voluntarily demobilized and given assistance so that they can return to school and to their communities. The joint African Union-UN peacekeeping mission (UNAMID) provided logistical support to the Darfur Child Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) programme and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), which are spearheading the demobilization initiative. The U.N. also reports that another 17 child soldiers are expected to be released and demobilized by the end of the week, and also given help with reintegration into their communities. The programme is taking place in Tora, a village located about 60 kilometres from El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur state. The first group of 36 former soldiers received backpacks with school and educational supplies, as well as some sports equipment.