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Darfur / UNAMID Media Brief

By United Nations - African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID)
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EL FASHER (DARFUR), Sudan, May 14, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- UNAMID Media Brief /14 May 2012

Darfur movement pledges to end use of child soldiers

El Fasher--The Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM), a signatory along with the Government of the Sudan of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD), has agreed to prohibit the use of child soldiers, following consultations with the African Union - United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), and in the context of the DDPD implementation.

The LJM submitted its action plan to the UN on 10 May which brings it into compliance with Security Council resolutions on children and armed conflict, as well as with resolution 2003 (2011) which extended the peacekeeping mission's mandate in Darfur through July 2012.

By signing this action plan, the LJM has committed to end any recruitment and use of child soldiers; release all children found within its ranks; fully cooperate with the Sudan Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) Commission; take measures to prevent the recruitment and re-recruitment of children; designate a senior-level focal point to interact with the UN; and, grant full access to UN teams for the monitoring of compliance and submit periodic progress reports on implementation.

UNAMID noted with appreciation that LJM leader El Tigane Seisi had deplored the presence of children within the movement and pledged immediate action.

“UNAMID is here to assist the parties to the conflict and local communities to guarantee effective protection of the children of Darfur,” said Boubacar Dieng, the head of UNAMID's Child Protection Unit.

The LJM is the fifth armed movement in Darfur to have submitted an action plan. The Mission is in discussion with other armed movements, as well as with the Government on pending submissions of similar action plans.

From 2009 to February 2011, the North Sudan DDR Commission, with the support of the UN, registered 1,041 former child soldiers in Darfur.