Civil War Puts Childhood Under Attack in South Sudan, UN Says

A South Sudanese refugee child stands at the al-Algaya UNHCR camp in May.

Photographer: Ashraf Shazly/AFP via Getty Images

South Sudan’s four-year civil war has had a “staggering impact” on children, with more than half its minors affected by forced recruitment, food shortages or loss of schooling, the United Nations said.

The upheaval is “threatening an entire generation,” the UN Children’s Fund said Friday in a report, citing estimates that more than 19,000 have been recruited into the army or militias and over 2,300 have been killed or injured since the conflict began in December 2013. Two million children are out of school, it said.

South Sudan’s government and rebel leaders are due to attend an internationally backed peace forum in Ethiopia this month, the latest bid to quell a conflict that has claimed tens of thousands of lives in the nation of about 12 million people.

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