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S. Sudan: 30 school children kidnapped, Machar denies involvement

S. Sudan: 30 school children kidnapped, Machar denies involvement

South Sudan

A spokesperson for South Sudan’s opposition leader, Riek Machar, has denied involvement in the abduction of 30 school children in the Amadi state.

“Our rules and regulation do not allow anything like that,” Andrew Kuong told the BBC’s Newsday programme.

It was reported on Thursday that around 150 armed rebels attacked two schools in the state located in the Equatoria region and abducted the children.

According to the state governor, Joseph Ngere, the rebels were part of the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement-In Opposition (SPLM-IO) group headed by ousted first Vice-President Riek Machar.

Mr Ngere disclosed further that most of the 300 children who were at the two attacked schools fled into the bushes. The attack happened on Monday, but the governor said he only learnt of the incident on Wednesday.

The UN rights body recently warned of rise in hate speech and incitement to violence in the country.

“Letters with graphic warnings of violence against Equatorians have been left outside the offices of several humanitarian organisations,” Ravina Shamdasani – spokesperson for UN rights chief – told reporters at a briefing at the U.N. in Geneva.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) earlier this week confirmed the release of the children by former rebel movements SPLM-IO and the Cobra Faction.

A total of 145 child soldiers were released on Wednesday by former rebel group of former South Sudanese First Vice President Riek Machar and another group in Pibor in eastern South Sudan.

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