Children abducted in Abyei released after UN mediation

Four children, who were abducted in Abyei over one month ago, are released after tribal mediation that was supported by the region’s UN interim security force.

A group of four children who were abducted in the disputed Abyei region have been released, according to the UN Children's Fund (Unicef).

The children, aged between 6 and 12, were taken on 2 March by gunmen after an attack on the village of Marial Achak in Abyei, a region on the border with South Sudan.

The children, two girls and two boys, were released after tribal mediation with the support of UNISFA, the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei.

In a statement, Unicef said it assists with the family reunification of the children, and provides the children with any necessary counselling and psychological support.

“Unicef condemns in the strongest possible terms all forms of abduction of children,” said Unicef representative in Sudan, Geert Cappelaere. “Children are not a commodity and can never be held for ransom or against any other form of compensation.

A country, region or community will only truly thrive if investment in health, development and protection against violence, abuse and exploitation of all girls and boys is a top priority and agreed by all.”