Future Search The Network

Future search and its realization in Southern Sudan

This Network story began in November 1999 with the future search for the Future of Children in Southern Sudan. In July, 2001 a team of UNICEF staff, newly trained in future search, went to Rumbek, Southern Sudan and ran a future search on demobilizing child soldiers. In February, 2001, 2500 young boys were demobilized from the Sudanese People's Liberation Army.

* Photos and descriptions sent by Siddharth Chatterjee, UNICEF Field Officer.

Dear Future Search Network,

Please find attached a kaleidoscope of images of the demobilization of a large number of child soldiers from the rebel army, SPLA, Southern Sudanese Liberation Army. It is unique that such a large number of kids were demobilized during an ongoing conflict. Thirty-five hundred kids spared just another round of a brutal and Machiavellian conflict, from despair and tragedy. And yet, this is only a start. Nearly 9000 kids in South Sudan still bear arms in the different rebel factions, and 300,000 kids still fight wars and insurgencies all over the world, and waiting to be demobilized.. waiting to going back to being boys.

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At the barracks.
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In sight, with ruthless determination.
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45% of the child soldiers were demobilized through the month of February 2001, a figure of 3500 kids from the military contingents in northern Bahr el Ghazal, the front lines of the conflict.
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The emotions of these boys filmed on camera when they were demobilized. Comment from one of the senior military commanders on seeing them was, "Seeing them jump with such happiness makes me believe that we were doing something wrong."
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Kids being relocated out of the front lines and being brought into Rumbek, 200 miles south of the combat zone, a place of relative peace and security.
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8 transit facilities were established where the kids will stay for 3 to 4 months till the conflict which occurs during the dry season subsides after which the kids will be reunited with families.
Click for larger view99% of the kids we spoke to wanted an education, some wanted to be pilots, some doctors and some engineers, each with an aspiration in a part of the country caught in the middle ages, where time has virtually, come to a stand still. A silence they have known only punctuated by gun fire.

The challenge ahead is daunting.

Warm regards,






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