Baku, November 11, AZERTAC
The UN Children's Agency (UNICEF) has estimated that nearly 1,500 children were killed since the start of South Sudan's civil war, according to a recent briefing note released by the agency.
This may be the first time that the UN agency publicly estimated the number of children killed in the conflict. Previously, they have regularly released estimates of the number of child soldiers, separate children, malnourished and other data, but they have not counted the dead.
"From 15 December 2013 to October 2015, 1,404 incidents were reported affecting 58,690 children, of which 1,007 incidents have been verified, affecting 30,113 children. These incidents (verified and unverified) include the killing of 1,457 children," reads the newly released update dated 5 November.
UNICEF also reported "278 incidents of recruitment affecting between 15,000 and 16,000 children; the abduction of 1,592 children and sexual violence perpetrated against at least 721 children."
Earlier this year the UN agency identified SPLA and SPLA-armed groups as the alleged perpetrators of dozens of killings in Unity State during an offensive in May 2015.
Last month also the Protection Cluster, a group of aid agencies working in South Sudan, said that 80 South Sudanese civilians including 57 children were killed in one county alone, including 29 children who drowned after running into swamps to hide from attacks.
Press reports earlier this month quoted survivors as saying that government forces attacked numerous locations across Leer County, chasing civilians into swamps. The victims are members of the Nuer sections of southern Unity State.