By: Ahmed Alhaj (Site Admin)
Khartoum (Sudanow) – Four Sudanese children have been reintegrated with their families by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) increasing the number of Sudanese children recently reunited with their families by the ICRC to twenty one.
The Sudanese children were abducted in 2008 from their region in Equatoria, an area that has recently been the scene for activities by the Ugandan rebel Lord Resistance Army (LRA) that riffraff the area from Equatoria deep down to Central African Republican Eastern region, bordering Southern Sudan and Darfur.
A news release by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Tuesday said the world body has helped reunite seven children with their families in Obo, Central African Republic, and South Sudan. The news release which did not say who abducted the children, has however explained that the children, Sudanese and central Africans, "were separated from their families several years ago by the armed violence in the region".
"The children endured immense suffering and much of their childhood was taken away from them," says Alexandra Goodlad, head of the ICRC's office in the east of the Central African Republic (CAR), the news release said.
An ICRC plane took four children from Obo to Tombura in Southern Sudan, and then to Juba and Yei, before returning from Tombura to Obo with three children en route to their homes in the CAR. "Being reunited with their families is a first step on the long road to recovery," explained Goodlad.
David (17) and his younger brother Peter were abducted in 2008 when an armed group attacked their village in South Sudan. The brothers were separated and kept on the move, crossing first into the Democratic Republic of the Congo and then into the CAR.
"We had to carry heavy loads barefoot through the bush every day," says David. "Anyone who became too weak would be killed or left behind without food. I've dreamt so many times of the moment when I could finally go home."
But when David finally managed to flee he found himself far from home, in the north east of the CAR. He approached the Central African Red Cross Society, who contacted the ICRC. David was taken into care in Bangui and the search for his family in Sudan began.
When he returned to Sudan, David discovered that Peter had also made it back. "This is an incredible moment for us," says their elder brother. "We had given up all hope. We thought they were both dead."
Restoring family links is one of the priorities of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. Since the beginning of 2010, the ICRC and the Central African Red Cross Society have enabled the exchange of 417 Red Cross messages and have reunited nine children with their families. In Sudan, the ICRC and the Sudanese Red Crescent Society have carried more than 10,000 messages and reunited 13 children with their families.
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