"I personally met David Yau Yau last June in Gumuruk and saw child soldiers associated with his armed group. He recognized he had children in his ranks and expressed his willingness to work with the United Nations to release them. I am pleased to see that months of relentless advocacy by the UN in South Sudan is finally yielding results," UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougui, said in a statement Tuesday.
During Zerrougui's visit to South Sudan in June 2014, the government of South Sudan recommitted to the full implementation of its action plan with the United Nations to end the recruitment and use of children in the Sudan People's Liberation Army. Riek Machar, signed a commitment with the special representative to end all grave violations against children in May.
According to the UN Security Council, there have been serious human rights abuses in South Sudan. In December of last year, members of the council adopted a Presidential Statement demanding a cessation of violence in South Sudan and threatening to impose sanctions against those impeding the peace process.
Violence erupted in South Sudan in December, 2013, when president Salva Kiir accused Riek Machar of plotting a coup. Thousands of people have been killed in the ongoing civil war in the country.