Recruited in Chad Still Held in
Sudan, ICC's Lubanga Case Questioned
Matthew Russell Lee of
Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
-- Returning from
Afghanistan, where she took on the sexual abuse of boys but did not ask
the U.S.'s lock-up and military trial of at least two juveniles, the
Radhika Coomaraswamy said that governments try to prevent contact with
parties which use child soldiers, making the required "Action Plans"
for demobilization nearly impossible to negotiate. Inner City Press
a recent high profile case of child soldiers, the 91 children found
Justice and Equality Movement's assault on Khartoum stopped at Omdurman
10. Video here,
from Minute 26:21.
Coomaraswamy said that JEM is on the list of child soldier recruiters,
UN Peacekeeping's child protection unit has been engaging with JEM in
Darfur and in Chad, to try to get children released.
Radhika Coomaraswamy on July 7, release of
Omdurman child soldiers still not shown
Regarding the 91
Ms. Coomaraswamy's staff when asked had said
"We are aware the Omdurman / JEM
case but we don't have specific details yet about their ages etc. Child
protection partners including UNICEF are following the case on the
position is that children should be released asap and given to child
partners in order to be reintegrated into their communities in Chad or
according to their origin. Please note also that we are aware of
recruitment of children by JEM. They are listed in the annexes of the
and monitored under resolution 1612 monitoring and reporting mechanism.
could therefore be subject to targeted measures by the Security
child soldier recruiters could be
sanctioned by the Security Council, but will they be? On July 7, Inner
Press received a more detailed update from UNICEF's spokesman
On 30 June, the National and
Khartoum Council for Child Welfare and Save the Children UK with
UNICEF organized a day of psycho- social activities for the children
detained in connection with and following the attack by JEM on
Khartoum. The 91
detained children participated in the day which included cultural dance
activities by the detained children themselves; a comedy show by famous
Sudanese artists; a children’s dance troupe from the Khartoum IDP camp;
puppet theater show. The day was well
received by the detained children, who -- buoyed
by the range of activities - actively
performed dances from their
own tribal areas in Darfur for each other. The
Khartoum Council for Child Welfare
supported by UNICEF has seen to it that each of the children have two
clothes. They have also ensured that the
children detained have access to recreational kits - which include
ropes and volleyballs.
UNICEF together with UNMIS (the United
Nations Mission in Sudan) continues to advocate for the release,
and reintegration of the children and has offered its support to on
and sustainable rehabilitation of the
children back to their communities. UNICEF have
been in constant dialogue with the Government
on this issue, and we
have visited the children. The overall care of the children was found
to be of
a good standard.
almost two months. While volleyballs are surely appreciated, what
happened to the
" release, reunification, and reintegration" of the children? We will
continue to follow this.
Coomaraswamy's staff also told Inner
City Press that she "urges that the trial of Thomas Lubanga Dyilo not
compromised for technical reasons. She hopes that the problems linked
disclosure of evidence will be solved as soon as possible." Inner City
Press' sources in the UN Secretariat are expressing anger that the
ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo based so much of its case against
information for which the Secretariat had promised confidentiality. One
asked bitterly, "Doesn't the ICC do its own investigations?"
Apparently not. We will continue to follow these ICC cases.
* * *
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