An unidentified South Sudan armed group has abducted at least 89 boys, some as young as 13, from their homes in the north of the country, UNICEF said Saturday.
The incident occurred in the community of Wau Shilluk in Upper Nile State where thousands of people have been internally displaced by the ongoing conflict.
According to witnesses, armed soldiers surrounded the community and searched house by house. Boys older than 12 years of age were taken away by force.
UNICEF Representative in South Sudan, Jonathan Veitch, urged the group to immediately release the children.
"The recruitment and use of children by armed forces destroys families and communities. Children are exposed to incomprehensible levels of violence, they lose their families and their chance to go to school." UNICEF reminds all parties involved in the conflict that the recruitment and use of children in armed forces and groups is a grave violation of international law.