By Manyang Mayom
October 4, 2010 (JUBA) — Prostitution in Southern Sudan is on the rise. Juba, the capital city of the semi-autonomous region and a territory belonging to the indigenous Bari tribe is hit by sexual workers and growing adultery by married women, most of whom have been flowing into Juba from the neighboring countries of East Africa such as Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia and Tanzania.
- Two sex workers on one bed (photo by Manyang Mayom)
These sexual trade workers are mostly foreigners while others are Southern Sudanese girls and ladies as well as northern Sudanese ladies who decided to move to the South and access sexual freedom away from the Islamic law prohibiting sex in the north.
Such Sudanese girls who involve in commercial sexual intercourse are those girls who have adopted East African cultures and Arab girls who escaped Islamic law in Khartoum and flew to stay in Juba leaving behind their families.
Sudan Tribune had conducted interviews with some of such prostitutes who told about their sexual life in Southern Sudan, which they said was centered on making money rather than love.
Ugandan woman, Ms. Lora William, confirmed that she came to Juba to get wealth through prostitution. “There is no love – only money can make you everything you dream to get in Juba. Only relatives working in government would get you everything you would like to achieve in the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) system. Few of my friends are working in government offices as employees as well as few of them are private secretaries," she revealed.
"I was just a school girl in Kampala at Kampala International University (KIU) but unfortunately I got pregnant. I was deceived by my classmate and after he knew that I was pregnant, the guy disowned me immediately and my parents dismissed me from family house. I have nowhere to go then I decided to go to Sudan. As I just reached to Aru [Ugandan town close to Sudan border], I got a tall Sudanese man who loved me at a lodge and I started to have sex with him that night. On my way to Juba, he told the migration office that this is my wife and I was allowed to enter into Sudan through his approach to Sudanese migration authority," the Ugandan lady narrated.
An Ethiopian sex worker, Ms. Fruiti Magabsi, said the proximity of her country made it easier to travel to Sudan. "I came to Juba in 2009. I managed to arrive Sudan through my friend who was a South Sudanese soldier who [previously] got trained in Ethiopia. He told me to visit Sudan. I was a married woman in Ethiopia but this Sudanese man influenced me to leave my husband. He always told me that he was not married and he was also a big man in Government of Southern Sudan. The guy had a lot of money in his wallet and all the money were Dollars with Euros. I decided to leave my two children and joined this man in hotel and I followed him to [southern] Sudan through his instructions using Kenya road by land while he traveled by air leaving me behind.
"Since I arrived to Juba, I did not see him and his contact numbers which he gave me were all fake. I wondered what to do; I started to sell myself to men in lower price for me to sustain life. I sold myself to sleep with man with 50 Sudanese pounds. I managed to get two thousand Sudanese pounds in one week. I do use condom when I go for [sexual] intercourse with men because I see them so much thin. Many of men always rejected to sleep with me using condom during sexual intercourse. I told them to use condoms but they rejected my advice, they demanded [preferred] to pay a lot of money to have [non-condom] sex with me," she said.
There is no love in Juba, only money can prove [buy] everything," she said.
Walking to Custom [Market], the former market in Juba which is located at Western part of Juba town, a Tanzanian woman, Ms. Jenifer said that Juba is bridged to make wealth through sexual trade.
Jenifer affirmed that “there is high chance in commercial love to build houses and to have more cars free of charge from Sudanese officials here in Juba. They love sexual intercourse and they can pay what you demand them to pay before you go to have sex with him."
"I divorced my husband in my country because our life was so bad. I decided to come to Sudan to make money and not to have love with one man in the Sudan. I am not ready to have a child with any Sudanese man at the moment but when I see time is near for me to return home, I will own one tall man to have a child with him and I will escape to my country while pregnant," she said.
Ms. Entisar, said that "I left Khartoum when Lubna Hussein was harassed by Khartoum public police in trousers dress case.
She complained that life in Khartoum as a girl is bad. "You are denied by parents not to go out with your friends. You can love somebody in your heart but difficult to express yourself and for me I believe this is an insult to God. There is body need and you are denied to do it – this is injustice," she said.
"I do stay here in Juba and I am happy the way I am treated by Southern boys. There is no harassment. I do go to Custom Market at night to have sex with men in price of 20 Sudanese Pounds. I do have sex so that I can pay house rent and sometimes I travel back to Khartoum," she explained.
Southern Sudan is experiencing rising sex trade where you can find sex workers in towns including Wau, Rumbek, Juba and Aweil. The Government of Southern Sudan has overlooked the issue of sex workers while community leaders are complaining that cultures are changing since sexual workers introduced commercial sexual intercourse in the country.
Southern Sudan is governed by cultures and they believe in their respective traditions but since the signing of Sudan’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), Southern Sudan got swallowed with foreign cultures imported by Sudanese children who were brought up in Western life.
Health authorities in the region have warned of serious threat posed by the killer disease, HIV/AIDS, which is feared to have been infecting people at an alarming rate, particularly in the states bordering Kenya and Uganda.