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UNICEF condemns abduction of children, women in Pibor

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has condemned the recent abductions of women and children, rape, sexual violence, physical beatings and gross deprivations inflicted upon upwards of 65 people in the Pibor Administrative Area.

“There can be no justification, not in past atrocities, not in any culture, nor in any law, for this violence against already vulnerable people,” it said in a statement issued on Friday in Juba.

UNICEF confirmed that 16 women and 49 children were abducted during the violence that erupted since December 24th in Greater Pibor Administrative Area.

It noted that the abduction of children has severe consequences on the physical and psychosocial wellbeing of children, their families, and communities, with almost certain long-term consequences.

 UNICEF commended the work of the Greater Pibor Administrative authority and Jonglei administration in securing the release of abducted women and children, as well as the urgency shown to safely return the children to Pibor.

It further lauded the child protection partners and social workers, acting in collaboration with the Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare, to ensure rapid family tracing and reunification processes are initiated for the affected families.

“This is a first step in what will most likely be a long journey of reintegration and healing,” it said.

UNICEF said it remains committed to strengthening responses to child protection violations through effective case management, family reunification, psychosocial support and trauma response programmes.

It also called on all parties in South Sudan to adhere to the Convention of the Rights of the Child and ensure children’s safety and security are assured at all times.

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