Army - Twenty-four girls, part of the more than 70 former child soldiers who severed in the Darfur region, are being registered for rehabilitation and reintegration, the UN-AU peace keeping mission (UNAMID) said in a release, received by PANA on Thursday.
Observers say this was a striking element in a community where girls are rarely allowed to take part in any form of public activities, let alone combat.
The release said the former members of the Sudan Liberation Army / Historical Leadership (SLA/HL) were released to the communities in 2011.
A number of young adults identified as former child soldiers were also identified and registered to benefit from the reintegration programme in compliance with a commitment made to the United Nations by the Movement.
It pointed out that the initiative, which took place in Nyala, South Darfur state, near the border with Central African Republic, from 17-31 January, was organized by the Sudan Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Commission and supported by UNAMID and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
On 25 September 2011, SLA/HL submitted an action plan to the United Nations committing to end the recruitment and use of child soldiers in Darfur.
In the plan, the Movement claims that the children who enrolled into the ranks did so for a number of reasons, including poverty, hunger, psychological issues, displacement and separation from their families.
Also that year, the Movement signed a peace agreement with the Government that includes demobilization and an end to hostilities.
SLA/HL is the sixth armed movement in Darfur to have submitted an action plan on the recruitment of children, the release said.
But it gave no estimates as to the number of children involved in the protracted civil strife in Darfur region.