Khartoum — The Unicef Representative in Sudan has strongly condemned the killing of four school students* and an activist in El Obeid, capital of North Kordofan, on Monday.
They died by bullets reportedly shot by militiamen of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) shortly after secondary school students and activists went out in a spontaneous protest on Monday morning, ostensibly against the stoppage of public transport due to fuel shortages, drinking water outages, increasing commodity prices, and a continuing bread crisis.
"I am devastated about the fatal shooting that led to the death of at least five high-school children* and scores of serious injuries in El Obeid, North Kordofan," Abdullah Fadil, Unicef Representative in Sudan said in a statement on Monday.
"We express our sincere condolences to the families, the students and the community.
"The children, aged between 15-17 years old, were protesting the commencement of the school year amid the political uncertainty in Sudan. No child should be buried in their school uniform!," Fadil states.
"Unicef urges all those involved in the violence to protect children at all times and keep them out of harm's way, in line with their obligations under International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Principles.
"Unicef calls on all parties to respect the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Sudan Child Act 2010 and refrain from committing grave violations against children, including the recruitment and use of children in armed forces or armed groups.
"Unicef calls on the government to investigate and hold all perpetrators of violence against children accountable.
"Unicef will continue to work with national partners and the international community to protect and uphold the rights of children in Sudan," the statement concludes.
* Initially, sources in El Obeid reported that five school students were killed.
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