Sudan insider: Child soldiers in Sudan’s conflict zones


The United Nations Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict in Sudan, in an April report, estimates that 335 children were recruited over the last five years by armed groups in Sudan’s conflict zones in Darfur and the Two Areas: South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.

Nearly 1,300 more children were killed in those regions, according to the report from Special Representative Leila Zerrougui.

In Darfur, the UN report said the government was responsible for approximately half the cases of child soldier recruitment. In the Two Areas, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-North (SPLM-N) rebels constituted the main perpetrators of child soldier recruitment, with 104 documented cases compared to 39 government cases, the report said.

The recruitment did not only take place between armed groups, but also ethnic communities fighting over resources such as tribal clashes over gold mines in Jebel Amir, Darfur, and livestock feuds between Beni Hussein and Rizegat tribes.

The report also referred to Sudanese children as victims of rape and sexual violence in the conflict areas; the majority of cases (372 of 385 occurred in Darfur. The perpetrators almost exclusively emanated from the government and pro-government militias, according to the report.