U.N.I.C.E.F. reports that a vast majority of South Sudanese children have known nothing more than the chaos and destructive raged by war. U.N.I.C.E.F. reports that the nation-state erupted into a state of civil war in 2013, the result of which has been the mass brutalization of young children- with the U.N. identifying that at least 19,000 children have been recruited by armed groups for purposes spanning from indoctrination as child soldiers to that of sex slaves. This number is probably expected to climb as that has been the trend since the birth of the civil war.
High-level officials have responded with empty and anticlimactic responses which acknowledge the truth yet do not put into gear any real safeguarding mechanisms. On this notes, the ‘Chief of U.N.I.C.E.F. has purported that the Children of South Sudan deserve better.’ In eschewing from being markedly critical of such positivist sentiments, it is acknowledged here that delivering aid to those in need poses problematic in itself, as aid workers have also sustained causalities, with the aid worker death toll standing at 100 alone in 2013. However, at least, recognition of the plight of Sudanese children who face a chronic food shortage, and exploitation, is a starting point for further action to follow suit in the future.
Nevertheless, on a positive note, U.N.H.C.R. is appealing for aid in excess of a monetary sum of three billion dollars. It has been stressed by the U.N.C.H.R. that an estimated seven million people are in dire need of greater assistance and that the flow on effects of civil war directly impact both regional security and civilian safety, as civilians have become easy targets in the warfare, with gang-rape, the killing of husbands and even burning people alive becoming an everyday occurrence in certain regions. Hopefully, this donor fatigue that affecting the region shall remedy itself in the future. To that end, the strides made by U.N.I.C.E.F. in the protection of children ought to be acknowledged as amongst else, as accounted for by U.N.I.C.E.F. online;
- “609,855 children aged six months to 15 years in conflict-affected areas vaccinated against measles”
- “693,067 children and adolescents reached with critical child protection services”
- “313,832 children and adolescents aged three to 18 years provided with access to education in emergencies”
To further illustrate, the dire state of children’s future in the country, the civil war has resulted in mass destruction of schooling infrastructure with “one in three schools destroyed, occupied or closed since 2013.” Lack of educational facilities, in my view, may contribute to continued instability in the region, as those that will inevitably lead in the future need to know of good core values and the means of progressive society.
The socio-political future of South Sudan is bleak given that over three-quarters of its children have lived in a war-torn landscape, where brutality prevails. In order to secure and stabilize South Sudan as a young nation state going well into the future, it is paramount that international community provides greater assistance, educative and rehabilitative facilities so as to promote growth in South Sudan. Here, it is apt to quote the words of the Executive Director of the U.N. Children’s Fund, who as cited in U.N. News piece ‘Millions of children’s lives hand in the balance as South Sudan conflict grind on –U.N.I.C.E.F. Chief’ has purported that “Only an end to the hostilities can bring back hope and safety to the children and young people of South Sudan. Until then, we need unconditional, sustainable access from parties to the conflict and more resources from donors.”
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