28/02/2015
lisa monaghan

HRW (1994). The Lost Boys. Child Soldiers and Unaccompanied Boys in Southern Sudan

In Sudan, the civil war between the government and its southern peoples, which started in 1983, has claimed a very high number of civilian dead, estimated at 1. million in ten years.2 Both the government and the rebels have abused the civilian population and engaged in widespread violations of the rules of war.

One abuse which bodes ill for the future of the country is the use of child soldiers by both sides. Boys as young as eleven have been recruited to fight in this cruel war. No one knows the exact number of boys who have been forced to fight, but the number is in the thousands. Hundreds of these children have been killed or grievously wounded. Others have died of starvation or disease. Many have been subjected to severe beatings and all have lived in deplorable conditions. Rehabilitating these children and reintegrating them into their communities is an immense and daunting
task.

This newsletter focuses on the use of child soldiers by the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA). The government's ill treatment of children, including the illegal detention of street children, almost always southerners, the forced reeducation of them in schools run by Islamists and forced recruitment of boys into militias, is described in another recent HRW/Africa report.

Category: Anthropology and History

Sub-category: Children