(Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Former child soldiers in South Sudan said they took up arms to defend themselves after being beaten and almost drowned by government soldiers, and they might return to the battlefield if their lives do not improve, a UNICEF ambassador said. Ishmael Beah, who was forced to fight in Sierra Leone’s civil war when he was 13 and later became a United Nations Children’s Fund goodwill ambassador, recently met hundreds of children who left South Sudan’s rebel Cobra Faction in restive Jonglei State earlier this year.