Inner City Press referred yesterday to the group of 91 children that were discovered fighting with the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) – a rebel group fighting in the Darfur region of the Sudan – on May 10th of this year. From this article, UN’s Radhika Coomaraswamy states:
…the JEM is on the list of child soldier recruiters, and that UN Peacekeeping’s child protection unit has been engaging with JEM in both Darfur and Chad, to try to the children released.
(JEM is the same group that is suing human rights group Waging Peace, for accusing them of harboring and using child soldiers. See this earlier posting on this blog.)
According to the article, a UN spokesman said the following regarding the children:
We are aware of the Omdurman/JEM case but we don’t have specific details yet about their ages etc. Child protection partners including UNICEF are following the case on the ground. Our position is that children should released asap and given to child protection partners in order to be reintegrated into their communities in Chad or in Sudan according to their origin. Please note also that we are aware of ongoing recruitment of children by JEM.