Thousands of child soldiers dragged into South Sudan’s civil war are unlikely to be freed soon because aid agencies lack the funds to look after them, a U.N. envoy said on Tuesday.
The government signed a peace deal with rebel factions in September to end a civil war that killed at least 50,000 people, but a UN envoy claimed many children who were forced into the conflict are still stuck in military camps in the bush.
The envoy further said that lack of resources to re-integrate the children meant they remained at extremely high risk of abuse.
Since January, 900 child soldiers have been freed and 1,000 are expected to be released by the end of the year.
U.N. funds for reintegrating children had halved over the past seven years while needs doubled, and aid workers could not cope with a sudden mass release.