CountryFact Sheet Related to Children and Armed Conflict in Sudan

CountryFact Sheet Related to Children and Armed Conflict in Sudan

  • Civil wars in Sudan started soon after attaining independence in the year 1956.

  • The main source of conflicts was the issue of sharing of resources between South and North Sudan.

  • About two million have died while millions of the citizens have sustained serious injuries since 1956.

  • Although the North-South war ended in 2005 following the adoption of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), civil war has persisted in South Sudan and other regions, such as Darfur.

  • There is a positive relationship between the intensity of war and rate at which children are recruited by the fighting movements.

  • About 6,500 children have been recruited by armed groups in Sudan at least one point in their life, where 4,500 of them were forced to engage in Darfur war.

  • About 1,200 children were associated with the Sudan People’s Liberation Army.

  • Out of 6,500 children who were recruited by the armed groups, only 1,098 of them have been released and returned to their homes since the signing of the Eastern Sudan Peace Agreement, the CPA, and Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA).

  • In 2009, about 300 children were registered and liberated from the armed groups operating in Darfur, but this number of less compared to 2,000 names that had been submitted.

  • Unfortunately, children are recruited by the rebel as well as the government forces, with the objectives of expanding their military capacity.

  • Movements that have recruited the largest number of children include the Sudan Liberation Army, Justice and Equity Movement, Sudan Armed Forces based in Darfur, and other pro-government militia.

Interventionsby the international community and non-governmental organizations

  • UNICEF has developed an Action Plan that is negotiated with the pro-government and Sudan Armed Forces to stop the recruitment of children and their deployment as soldiers.

  • Almost all of the armed movements have adopted the provision of an Action Plan, but its implementation is a challenge, given that the pressure that mounts during the war period forces the movements to increase their military capacity by recruiting children who can use guns and other weapons.

  • UNICEF has managed to demobilize over 1,200 children in South Sudan by negotiating with the armed groups.

  • Apart from demobilizing and returning the affected children to their homes, non-governmental organizations (such as UNICEF) offer material and psychological support to help them recover from the trauma that they experience while at war.

  • UNICEF has registered 320 children who were recruited by the SPLA in its DDR Program since 2008, where 274 of them have received psychological support, 42 undergone skills training, and 95 taken back to school.

  • About three Interim Care Centers have been established in Northern Bahr-el-Ghal, Warrap, and Lakes states to serve as centers for the rehabilitation of the children who have been recruited by the armed forces in the past.

  • The international community has also pushed for the formulation of legislations (such as the Federal Child Act) that make the recruitment of children by armed forces an illegal venture.

  • The formulation f legislations and action plans have been accompanied with the civic education campaigns that are conducted with the objective of helping leaders of the armed groups understand the importance of respecting children’s rights.

  • The United Nations has been receiving credible reports indicating that children are still being recruited by the armed movements, but in a smaller scale.

  • The Agreement for Cessation of Hostility, which was signed in 2014 in Ethiopia, was expected to create a platform for the release of children who are still being held by the armed forces, it has not yielded fruits.


UNICEF(2015). FactSheet: Children associated with armed groups and forces centralAfrica.New York, NY: UNICEF.

Zerrougui,L. (2016). Factsheet: Recruitment and use of children.New York, NY: Children and Armed Conflict Organization. RetrievedJuly 14, 2016, from