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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 August 2006, 11:21 GMT 12:21 UK
Sudan armies abuse children - UN
Children in Darfur
Children are vulnerable in all Sudan's conflict zones
Government and rebel forces in Sudan are guilty of abusing children, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has said.

In a report to the Security Council, Mr Annan condemned the practice of recruiting child soldiers.

His report said this continued despite peace deals in southern Sudan and the western Darfur region.

It also said sexual and other violence against children by army and militia groups persisted in southern and western Sudan.

Mr Annan's report implicates the Sudanese Armed Forces - the government army - in child recruitment in southern Sudan and in Khartoum, in the killing of children in southern Sudan, and in child abduction and sexual violence in Darfur.

ACCUSED
Sudanese Armed Forces
Janjaweed (Darfur, pro-government)
Sudanese Liberation Army (Darfur, ex-rebels)
Sudanese People's Liberation Army (southern ex-rebels)
The pro-government Janjaweed militia, and the Minawi faction of the Sudanese Liberation Army (SLA) - a rebel group now participating in the government of national unity - are also accused of abducting and recruiting children in Darfur.

The southern-based Sudanese People's Liberation Army, which signed a peace deal with the government last year, is accused of killing children and recruiting child soldiers in the south.

'Opportunity'

Mr Annan urged the leaders of Sudan's government of national unity and the regional government of southern Sudan to end child recruitment.

"The current peace processes in Darfur and southern Sudan offer a real opportunity for the leaders of the Sudan to end the practice of recruitment and use of children once and for all," he said.

Mr Annan's report says the national and southern governments are directly accountable for violations by individuals under their command.

"This responsibility of the government must be stressed, particularly in the present context of shifting alliances and arrangements in the Sudan," the report says.

Child welfare groups estimate there are at least 100,000 child soldiers around the world, many of them in Africa.




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