Conflicts & War

Sudanese army to hand over 30 child soldiers recruited by Rapid Support Forces

Khartoum, Sept 4 (EFE).- The Sudanese army announced Monday that it contacted the International Committee of the Red Cross to arrange the hand over of some 30 child soldiers captured during clashes with the Rapid Support Forces, the paramilitary group the army has been fighting since the rebellion on April 15.

“In accordance with international humanitarian law and the laws of war, the Sudanese armed forces have contacted the International Committee of the Red Cross to hand over about 30 underage members of the rebel militia,” the army said in a statement.

The statement did not specify to whom these minors will be handed over, but indicated that the operation will be carried out in the locality of Um Durman, adjacent to Khartoum, once the military receives “a response from the representatives” of the ICRC in Sudan, whom the statement said it contacted on August 28.

At the same time, the army also plans to hand over 200 RSF fighters, the statement said, noting that it was awaiting “the completion of the necessary formalities” with the ICRC.

The humanitarian organization has yet to comment on the handover of fighters, which would be the first since the outbreak of the conflict.

RSF has been accused by the army and by local and international NGOs such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch of recruiting child soldiers, after it shared videos on its social networks that appeared to show minors on the battlefield.

However, RSF has denied this, claiming to EFE in June that “Sudanese often look very young” due to their “genes.”

Although there is no sign of a ceasefire and violence continues unabated, the Sudanese army has claimed in recent days that it has succeeded in quelling the paramilitary rebellion. Its leader, General Abdel-Fattah Burhan, has visited Egypt and South Sudan in recent days to seek support from neighboring countries.

According to some estimates, the conflict in Sudan has killed between 1,000 and 5,000 people, while the UN puts the number of people displaced internally and externally to escape the violence at nearly five million. EFE az/ics

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