Rebels sign child protection deal

2010-07-21 21:48

kalahari.com

Geneva – Sudanese rebel group JEM signed a landmark deal with the UN on Wednesday, pledging to protect children caught up in the Darfur conflict, according to a copy of the accord released by mediators.

The Justice and Equality Movement's humanitarian affairs co-ordinator Suleiman Jamous and UN resident and humanitarian co-ordinator in Sudan Georg Charpentier had signed the agreement in Geneva, with Unicef's Sudan representative Nils Kastberg as a witness.

As part of the agreement brokered by the Geneva-based Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, the JEM committed to "release and handover to Unicef all boys and girls associated with the JEM if any and facilitate their re-integration."

It also agreed to release and handover children "not directly associated with JEM if any who might have been recruited or used by other parties to the conflict".

In addition, the rebel group committed to protect children from sexual violence.

Unimpeded and regular access

To verify that the JEM adheres to its commitment, officials from the UN children's agency and other monitoring officials have been granted "unimpeded and regular access to all relevant JEM places, persons and relevant documents" under the deal.

Ahead of the signing, mediator Dennis McNamara described the deal as a "very valuable precedent".

"Certainly (other groups) will be aware of it and they will presumably look at themselves and think whether they should not do something similar and we hope that is the case," the humanitarian adviser at the centre told AFP.

Among key issues surrounding children in Darfur is the use of child soldiers, with all parties of the conflict having been accused of recruiting minors for combat.

Unicef estimated in late-2008 that there were around 6 000 child soldiers in Darfur alone, with the youngest just 11 years of age, while most were aged between 15 and 17.

International and Sudanese law

Anyone under 18 is considered a child under international and Sudanese law. However, in many tribal cultures, they are viewed as adults after puberty.

McNamara noted that under the deal, if UN officials were to "find children in military areas, or in conflict areas, they will arrange for them to be removed."

Meanwhile, JEM spokesperson Ahmed Hussein told AFP that "there are no child soldiers in JEM" and that the agreement went beyond the issue of children in conflict to the welfare of children such as education.

"The signing of this agreement does not mean that JEM has recruited child soldiers. This is not true.

"We are taking this as an initiative of goodwill, we want to lead and set an example," said Hussein.

- SAPA

Read more on:    un  |  jem  |  unicef  |  sudan  |  east africa

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
 

Cope loses members to ANC

President of the Cope Youth Movement, Abel Rangata, and three other Cope members have resigned from the party to join the ANC.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

11 Julius Malema quotes you'll never forget
DA won't get 30% - Zille
The EFF's ad was banned, see why
Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Cape Town - 08:16 AM
    Road name: N2 Inbound
    Earlier ACCIDENT at Hospital Bend has been moved to the side of the carriageway - DELAYS from Bhunga Avenue
  • Thursday Newlands - 08:05 AM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    DELAYS between Wynberg Hill and Hospital Bend
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get 50% off selected books!

Buy 2 books and get 50% off the second book. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mother’s Day special offers!

Spoil mom with these awesome specials that will warm her heart. Shop now!

Twisp – the smoking alternative

Buy any 2 refills for R250 and save R149. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Mother’s Day specials on appliances

Browse our range of Mother’s Day appliances to spoil and pamper mom. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Torch 9810

The BlackBerry Torch 9810 gives you the powerful combination of...

From R2815.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be more sensitive today and can be influenced easily by the energies around you. Try not to be swayed too much by the...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.