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UNICEF applauds Jonglei for returning 65 abductees to Pibor

UNICEF applauds Jonglei for returning 65 abductees to Pibor
The 65 Pibor women and children pose for a picture before being returned on Wednesday, January 11, 2023 | Credit | Anyar Kuol/Mingkaman FM

The UN children agency (UNICEF) says it’s pleased with Jonglei State authorities for returning to the Greater Pibor Administrative Area 65 abductees.

On Wednesday, the state authorities handed over to GPAA officials 48 children and 17 women who were abducted in Lekuangole and Gumuruk counties in December 2022.

They were airlifted to Pibor town by UNMISS, accompanied by dupety Governor Akech Deng and received by area information minister and other government officials.

“UNICEF commends the work of the Greater Pibor Administrative Area 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,” partly reads a statement issued on Friday.

The children’s agency said 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 further commends 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,” the statement continues.

The UN says killing, abduction of children and women, sexual abuses, and conflict related human rights violations continue to be worsened by the intercommunal violence and subnational conflict across the country.

And cattle raiding is the major driver of conflict in the communities of Jonglei state and the Greater Pibor Administrative Area, according to reports.