In South Sudan, more than 300 child soldiers were released yesterday by armed groups, the second-largest such release since the civil war began five years ago. Over 19,000 children are thought to have been recruited by all sides. The United Nations said the laying down of the guns ceremony for 87 girls and 224 boys was the first step in a process that should see at least 700 child soldiers freed in the coming weeks.
The head of the UN mission in South Sudan, David Shearer said, putting down weapons and rejoining normal life is just the beginning of the journey. The UN has released almost 2,000 child soldiers so far. More than 10 percent of them have been under age 13.Human rights groups say child recruitment continues, even as South Sudan’s government says it has committed to ending the practice.