On 14 March 2016, the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 2206 (2015) concerning South Sudan and the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict held joint informal consultations featuring a briefing by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougui, concerning the impact of the armed conflict on children in South Sudan.
The joint informal consultations were a continuation of a practice initiated in 2015 to enhance collaboration and coordination between the Working Group and sanctions committees in order to advance the protection of children in armed conflict.
In her briefing, the Special Representative stated that, despite the many commitments signed by the Government and opposition, the situation of children in South Sudan has worsened with a dramatic increase in grave violations against children in 2015. She expressed deep concern over the continuing recruitment and use of children by all parties to the conflict, as well as the re-recruitment of children previously released by armed groups. The Special Representative also detailed the deliberate targeting of civilians in the conflict, resulting in children being killed and maimed, as well as the wide-spread use of sexual violence as a tactic of war against women and children.
Citing names of perpetrators from both sides, the Special Representative called upon the 2206 Sanctions Committee and its Panel of Experts on South Sudan to continue to investigate and examine the individual and command responsibility of all parties to the conflict for grave violations against children. She also expressed full support for the recommendations of the African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan for the establishment of accountability mechanisms, including the Hybrid Court for South Sudan to be established in pursuance of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan signed on 17 August 2015 (document S/2015/654).
Members of the Committee and Working Group strongly condemned the ongoing violations and abuses committed against children in South Sudan by all parties to the conflict. They expressed deep concern over the impact of the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation on children, especially the rising recruitment and use, sexual violence, and killing and maiming of children. Members of the Committee and Working Group also noted the long-term reintegration and rehabilitation needs of children affected by the armed conflict. They called for an end to all violations and abuses against children, and agreed that the issue of the protection of children should be given continued attention.
Members of the Committee and Working Group further emphasized that issues discussed should be considered in the context of resolving the armed conflict in South Sudan.
Members of the Committee and the Working Group expressed support for enhanced communication between the Committee, the Working Group and the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict.