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The Untold Stories Of Teenagers In South Sudan

During times of conflict many children, especially teenagers are forced to join armed groups. They are usually recruited to help out the armed groups carry out their activities. Some children are even forced to fight for them, which means they have to kill their own people. For most teenagers, there is usually no escape. They have to survive the brutal conditions of the rebel group camps or die.

Mary was forcefully recruited by rebel groups in South Sudan when she was 12 years old. She was forced to work with them for three years until she finally escaped. The terrors of her time living with the rebel groups still haunt her. She remembers being beaten and told to crawl on her hands and feet until her skin would get scraped off.

Many other children like Mary face brutal punishments, and hardships in the rebel camps every day. However, some of them join these groups voluntarily. Esther says that she joined the rebel group voluntarily when she was 14 years old because she was out of school and had nothing else to do.

These untold stories of young children in South Sudan are not only horrifying but show the way these teenagers are deeply affected by armed conflicts.

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Thank you for sharing... I think it really depends on the kind of state of mind someone is in, where studies show more vulnerable people are more likely to join groups like this for a sense of grounding and stability. But what worries me is that, more children who are too young to know better, to have seen better, to even learn to empathize, may never even realize what theyre doing is wrong, and often those children are recruited. When they grow up in that environment, what can even convince them to change? And for teenagers, when they have nowhere else to turn, and no external support, what might motivate them to change? Some may think the outcome is inevitable,…


Really harrowing to read stories of such young children in conflict riddled zones. Media always shows conflict as such a far apart, separated entity, when it affects the lives of literally everyone present, especially the more vulnerable groups like children and adolescents

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