Children in peace building: a case study of Southern Sudan (1996-2006)
Mathenge, Rose M
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This study seeks to investigate the state of children in Southern Sudan in the period between 1996 and 2006. This is because children in Southern Sudan have been affected by the civil war that has torn the country apart for decades. Further, the study seeks to investigate the steps that have been taken to alleviate the problems facing children in Southern Sudan, and the extent to which children have been involved in peace building efforts. It explores the role that can be played by children in achieving durable peace, which has been elusive in Southern Sudan. The study has three objectives: To assess the impact of armed conflict on children; to assess the various ways in which the impact of the armed conflict on children is being alleviated; and to offer recommendations on policy streamlining in the area of children participation in peace building. Informed by Hans Morgenthau's realist school of thought, the study observes that the state's authority contribution in Southern Sudan is indispensable, but it is not in itself sufficient in attaining durable peace. The state's authority cannot exist in isolation from the society, because it is the society that creates the state. Consequently, the state authorities alone cannot build the peace of a society, however strong they may be. There is need to involve all the circles of a society, including children who are often seen as insignificant. The study is further informed that domestic hostile social groups will use whatever means at their disposal of gaining objectives they consider vital to them. That whoever is able to use violence will use it if the stakes seem to justify its use. The disputing groups have demonstrated this in the use of child soldiers in Southern Sudan and the indiscriminate killing and abuse of children. Arguments from Jean Jacque Rousseau and J.B. Watson assert that, while all may seem lost for Southern Sudan, if well nurtured and supported, children in southern Sudan hold enormous potential to bring peace to the country which has been tom apart conflict.