Home | News    Thursday 16 December 2010

Lakes state: Law against impregnating girls “useless” says youth leader

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By Manyang Mayom

December 12, 2010 (JUBA) – The chairman of Rumbek Youth Union has condemned a new customary law in Lakes state that makes it illegal for a young man to impregnate a girl.

Rumbek Youth union (RUMYU) chairman Santino Adong Keloktul said that the law was “useless” and called for article 33 vs 1 of 2010 elopement customary law to be changed by the state assembly.

Keloktul said that the new law did not address the issue and that “this law will introduce more prostitution in Lakes state territory and more death in society”.

He said that the law would not help Lakes state saying that it was damaging to young people.

Article 33 vs 1, says that youth who impregnated girls will be sentenced to jail for 10 years imprisonment and a fine of 1,000 SDG to be paid by their parents as well as 10 female cows.

The new Lakes state new customary law was drafted by Lakes state chief’s conference held in Rumbek earlier this year with the new law adopted by commissioners and passed by Lakes state assembly into law on October 15, 2010.

Between November 27 and December 3, five men were sentence to jail for 10 years at Lakes state court under the new law. Many young people in the state have rejected the law and have called for it to be removed from the statute book.

Speaking in a meeting organized by youth in Rumbek, Abang Suzan representing girls from the state said that girls may be forced to look for husbands outside the state if the law remains in place. She called on women in the state parliament to help change this “wrong” law.

She claimed the article was added by the chiefs to try to stop girls falling in love with and marrying young men rather than older men.

Suzan said that the law “is a silent war between young girls and old ladies and young men with old ones”.

She asked Lakes state lawmakers why they had created this law but not established laws against polygamy, polyandry and the marriage of underage girls to older men, which see said was present in the community.

Abuuk Deng Reech, a student at University Juba studying law said that a law of this nature should be put to the public and not just voted on by the 48 members of assembly.

He also questioned why law makers were so keen to create laws about elopement and youth pregnancy but not act against forced and earlier marriages.

(ST)

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  • 16 December 2010 04:46, by Anyang

    So useless indeed! It has to be abrogated without question,otherwise it will create chaos within the communities of the greater Lake state.

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    • 16 December 2010 09:37, by Peter Mading

      Now Youth of Lakes State have realised the importance of the law. Chiefs of entire Lakes State drafted it because one of the route cause of community conflicts is pragnancy and elopment. Even teachers make under age school girls pregnant and at the end they don’t marry them.The law will encourge the local community to send more girls to schools and be protected by that newly customary law.Why do you react over the law? Refrain for distruction and respect the law and other girls till you are prepared. Yes Girls are the source of wealth in Dinka Community in general.To my understanding the law applies to those who enlope or pregnant girls and at the end they rejected them. Youth shall be prepared to have a reasonable size of herds before they decide to have random sex with any girl. No matter it is educated or not educated. Leave the law to take its course now to see whether fighting will stop or continue. Who among the commenters here was happy when his younger sister age 12-14 and in Primary 7 was pregnanted and rejected. Let us value our traditions. Otherwise we are going to support wrong idiologies. RUMYU could have made motions on "Girls Protection and support Girls Education" but it did not happen. What is the importance of having Youth Association? Is RUMYU an Association to destroy properties(girls). This is a share and importance area where all of us have very deep concern.Civilisation does not mean discouraging the traditions. Customary law is to be strengthned and tightened indeed so that Lazy boys can double their efforts to build houses, have resources and be responsible before falling in love with any girls. If you do not want that law, go to East Africa to have sex and unwanted pregnancy for free or have free marriages. For Many Generations Girls are valued Assets.

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      • 16 December 2010 10:24, by John Gum

        Dear Peter
        You might be correct but what bring such arguement is that laws cannot egualised the same term like fine is very high,imprisonment of 10 years and 10 cows,it mean that the new government is doing business on peoples,for example if you are jail for 10 years and having money to pay for 10 years then you can be release but thatis not the reality of treating peoples of the same tradition,who has not did mistake among these illertate MPS,Governor and ministers,they have preganted girls and commited adultery before,are they going to be brough to jusice?infacts this law is not only for youth but to those who will commit crimes like this MPS prostitutes ladies who have been demolishing youth energy b’se their husbands can not gratifying them,note the law is for all of us and remember in the future if MP, governor or minister son commit crime relate to this issue and compromise,that will be the day death and cancellation of the article transpire.

        A young boy who has distance himslef from politics.

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      • 16 December 2010 19:15, by Victory

        Bro peter

        iam 100% agreeing with you regarding this articel,you said it all.

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    • 16 December 2010 11:30, by Marial Mangar Akol

      Hello! brothers and Sisters,
      Please kindly read this of mind properly,
      Today, there are the lawyers. For every age, a group of bright boys, learned in their trades and jealous of their learning, who blend technical competence with plain and fancy hocus-pocus to make themselves masters of their fellow men. For every age, a pseudo-intellectual autocracy, guarding the tricks of the trade from the uninitiated, and running, after its own pattern, the civilization of its day.
      Law can imposed from Lakes state Legislative Assembly by some coercive authority, such as a king, a legislature, or a supreme court, or law can develop "from the ground" as customs and practice evolve. Law imposed from the top authoritarian law typically requires the support of a powerful minority; law developed from the bottom up customary law requires widespread acceptance. Lawyer by name Hayek explained that many issues of law are not
      whether the parties have abused anybody’s will, but whether their actions have conformed to expectations which other different communities had reasonably formed because they corresponded to the practices on which the everyday conduct of the members of the group was based. The significance of customs here is that they give rise to expectations that guide people’s actions, and what will be regarded as binding will therefore be those practices that everybody counts on being observed and which thereby condition the success of most activities.
      Customary law is recognized, not because it is backed by the power of some strong individual or institution, but because each individual recognizes the benefits of behaving in accordance with other individuals’ expectations, given that others also behave as he expects. Alternatively, if a minority coercively imposes law from above, then that law will require much more force to maintain social order than is required when law develops from the bottom through mutual recognition and acceptance.
      We shall neither be tearify by this law nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself; nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.
      Reciprocities are the basic source both of the recognition of duty to obey law and of law enforcement in a customary law system. That is, individuals must "exchange" recognition of certain behavioral rules for their mutual benefit. Fuller suggested three conditions that make a duty clear and acceptable to those affected:
      God created the law of free will, and God created the law of cause and effect. And he himself will not violate the law. We need to be thinking less in terms of what God did and more in terms of whether or not we are following those laws. and from there Laws alone cannot secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.While law is supposed to be a device to serve society, a civilized way of helping the wheels go round without too much friction, it is pretty hard to find a group less concerned with serving society and more concerned with serving themselves than the lawyers.
      Therefore, we must reject the untrue will law which are against the future the young men, in Lakes state and in Southern Sudan at large. All in all I congratulate the Youth for their well committment to the last atomof their strength for finding out the lawyers and to make the final amendement and not the all the articles but specific to youth article.

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  • 16 December 2010 05:36, by Young Nation

    Dear Fellow Lakers,

    I totally agree with Rumbek Youth leader, Santino Kelotul for his brave stance on this particular flamable issue facing his fellow subjects, the Youth. As members of Lake State Youth who reisde outside Lakes State, my additional comment on Santino’s view is that that, this particular Law doesn’t not make sense although it was intellegently and carefully raised and put into law by our MPs as a pregnant reduction mecahnism.

    My second comment goes to Lakes State Juba University Law student, Abuk who has intellectually and correctly insisted that, this Law should have been revealed to Lakes State messes for debate before put into Law. I want my fellow leaders togather with their subjects to fight for this Law to be killed and buried.

    Young Nation is a citizen of Rumbek who lives in Brisbane, Australia

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  • 16 December 2010 06:09, by kuol M. Deng

    I am very sure the Lakes State new rules are against the social stature of future generation. The law banning young men from impregnating girls is a sort of Dinka greedy law that follow lives after cattle as only economic base and as function in society. Chiefs are illiterate, but the governor should have the assembly analyse the functions tackled by such law before implementing it. It has no advantage for now and the future of Southerners as well. It is a blunt decision even salva kiir should abolish this law. Shame you all!

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  • 16 December 2010 06:11, by Deng E. Manyuon

    I do fully agree with Young Nation & Anyang on their comments. I think it was last week when we commented at length on this unpopular customary law. I will repeat myself again here that it should be debated widely. It should be tabled for special state referendum. No need for rush. The said law is weakening the support for customary law in the State in general.

    I would not stop being fonding of customary laws, but I am failing to digest this particular law. Dinka Customary Laws are time-honored laws. They are wonderful, convincing and full of reasoning.

    This particular law is very disturbing and it should be repealled.

    Deng

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    • 16 December 2010 08:50, by Kolnyang youth

      Dear:Readers

      Bravo to Abang Suzan
      She is right to say that ,the law passed by Lake state assembly was stopped young men to married young girls ,because ladies are force to be married by old men .now a day girl have started to refused them that is why they came up with that law to block men and young to enjoyed their life .
      I can give thank to all youth of Lake State for claiming their right from state government . you can not be marginalized in your owned country .
      Old men in lake state legislative assembly are not right because it not your time to married young girls what of us ?what shall we do ?
      Parents should stopped force married .
      they should also stopped defilement marriage of giving 14 years old girl to a old man of 56years because of richness is wrong .
      what acts did lake state put on defilement ?

      Bor town the beginning of liberation struggle
      citizen of yirol east county
      in Kampala international university (KIU)

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  • 16 December 2010 06:43, by kuol M. Deng

    This law valued only the importance of women "Girls" as sources of wealth, which in other word, girls are trading items to bartered with livestock. So, let us keep them safe from being spoiled.

    The law should have a phillosophical and psychological view of human thought. The traditonal lwamakers in southern Sudan are lacking knowledge in human conscience and ideology in modern society. What if a girl finds a smart young man who may agree tactically to use birth control pills, would law see what may go bad under the ground? The lawmakers need to put in their measure or estimation how many times is human being evolving and how long will such law be kept? May lawmakers in Lakes State compare the time differences especially in the past past, present and future history of manking?

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    • 16 December 2010 07:33, by Thon Bai

      That is very stupid law that to be introduced in Lakes States; that called “impregnate girls”. Those lawmakers who draft that law in Lakes State are really primitives. There is no such law in any country in the world that makes it be illegal to impregnate a girl, unless you rapped the girl without her willing to have a relationship with you and that were you may be sentenced in jail/ prison. A sentenced young man for 10 years in prison because he impregnated girls is unlawful and is criminal act for those who introduced that law in State.
      I’m from Jonglei State in Bor County, but that ridiculous law in Lakes States really, really, really, makes me feel sick. I encouraging all youth from Lakes State to standup and deny that law. Again, youth that is your future that group of gangs are trying it to tear down.
      Thon Bai/ Gai
      USA.

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      • 16 December 2010 07:58, by landlord

        Thank man that was so dumbs laws ever pass in the world a part from Arab countries shame to that kind of laws

        If that is not raping. than why would you convicted a person in this way? shame to that attitudes of old Sudan laws.

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  • 16 December 2010 08:01, by Nhomlawda

    To: Lakes State Citizens

    Make sure you use your constitutional rights to teach Eng. Chol Tony Mayay and his MPs a lesson on this mess and the corruption being reported by voting them out in the next election. There is no way sensible MPs and governor can approve such a law. I don’t believe Sudanese pounds are manufactured in Rumbek and all citizens have access to government acounts to loot to be able to pay SDG1,000.00 and 10 female cows plus 10 yrs imprisonment - hefty fine and lengthy jail term. No one among those MPs and their governor who had considered the status of the child and the mother and who will take care of them when the man is languishing in jail.
    You will not be surprised to see Equatoria and Western Bahr-el-Gazal states’ girls plus Ugandan girls taking advantage of this law and your expensive girls will be in trouble. Continue to make these stupid laws and you will see where your community will be in not more than five years.

    Nhomlawda is a concerned citizens who is tired of this useless thinking of the people who are entrusted with authority to shape the future of the people of South Sudan.

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  • 16 December 2010 08:27, by John Ruei

    From John Ruei.
    I have agreed with what Rumbek Youth Union Chairperson said
    let this artcle 33 will change and others part of the law will remain as usual.
    It is not effecting the youth of Rumbek alone but for whole southern Sudan. It is apart of Sharia law which we people of S.Sudan did not want since. Why do we created these such laws? It is only Lakes state where this law come from,my question is, is it that people of Lakes state are depending on girls as their mean income?
    Dear brother Santino Adong Keloktul I have appericated what you have done because that law has got no room here in Lakes state and we youth of Lakes state will stand with you forever.
    thanks

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  • 16 December 2010 09:16, by Joseph

    Dear readers

    Manyang Mayom has to be question seriously for posting this article to the public while the issue was still under discussion in the assembly.
    He supposed to mentioned the names of [5] boys impregnated girls and sentenced for tens years imprisonment, 10 heifers and 1,000 SDG
    I personally asked one of the lake state MPS about the issue ,he told me that if you impregnated a school girl and you refused to merry her ,that is where you will be fine with 3 cows to the parents of girl and one thousand Sudanese pounds only to the court . No imprisonment for even one hour and no more fines beyond one thousand SDG
    Eng. Chol was elected by the same peoples, whereby he can’t impose second sharia laws on them. I’m not a member of chol tong government but concern citizen of lake state issues,
    Some years back Many Mayom was dismissed from ministry of information because of wrong repots he posted to the website
    The writer is a former guerilla of the SPLA

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    • 16 December 2010 10:05, by kuol M. Deng

      Good eloboration, but we the readers and websurfers, we like to give simple analysis to any article posted on the website. Since message has been posted in three to four days past, Lakes State assembly should have denied it prior to a posting time. Everyone can careless about your comments on Manyang Mayom because he did not sneak inside the state house. This is the man we know have been in trouble many times, but today he has posted a debatable article on Customary Law. May Lakes State post a denial to Manyang’s article on Customary Law? We are waiting to see the correction to this matter.

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  • 16 December 2010 14:48, by hard liner

    Guys guys guys.... in a relationship between a girl and a boy where the outcome is pregnancy, we should know that there are two lives involved, that is the boy’s live and the girl’s and both of these lives are important as well as the third live too which is the baby, but these so called law makers in lakes did not even discussed among themselves first but just concluded that the boy is the calprit, how about the girl? she too is a calprit if not how did she get pregnant if she didn’t raise her leg or bent? But the big question is, is the pregnancy as a result of rape? did the lady cry when she was raped? if not then the whole issue should be settle in a way that the boy is not put to suffer for 10 years when the girl is free. she should be punished too or if the lady is in school, the boy should be put in jail only for the period the girl is pregnant so that he resumes school when the lady is also able to go back to school. law makers do not torture the boys they are part of the problem as the girls.....!!!!!!!!!

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  • 16 December 2010 15:24, by J G kuol

    I do think we are missing the key point here.We all know the exploitation of women ,especially the vulnerable young
    girls in our society.And here comes the Youth union conddemning the law.well ,how about this:a teacher who supposed to be a role model has been engaging in sexual activity with young school girls leading to their pregnancy,
    or a young man who wanders around doing nada,except preying
    on girls.To my understanding,the law says if you impregnated
    a girl and you refused marry her,you must pay a fine as a
    compensation to the damage you have caused.And for those who
    are abroad,you know very well that anyone found guilty of sexual activities with minors would be labeled as a sex offender,or a pedophile who’s dangerous to society.We all know that a young girl with a child is discriminated among us,where do you think she’ll endup? well,she’ll be recued by
    that greed evil old man(polygamist)excuse me for being sarcastic here.The question is,do we give them a second chance,or ask yourself if you would be able to marry a single mother and to love her,honor her,cherish her,and to
    protect her.Think about heroes!!!

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  • 16 December 2010 15:48, by Dude

    Adong knows nothing about law. In fact, I attended the 2nd round of this meeting held by a group mobilised by him and I discovered that he was shallow in argument. He did not understand that the law used to sentenced these people was the Sudan Penal code of 2008 as shown by the document detailing the court ruling.

    He connived with his most stupid friend on earth, Manyang Mayom, to present their nonsense on Sudan Tribune, the site used by Manyang to exercise his limited knowledge of journalism. At the end of the day, we are discovering that the two naive gentlemen have fooled us, the public, to the maximum.

    Dude

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  • 16 December 2010 16:14, by makuei

    Has this gentleman really read the customary law? Does he understand this law? Is he wise enough to use his senses to differentiate between the contents of the court ruling and the customary law that he has continuously attacked?

    I think he has something else in mind, not anything to do with the customary law and even the imprisonment of some gents. Well, I think he is inviting trouble for himself.

    Makuei.

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  • 16 December 2010 18:56, by J G kuol

    I do believe in my heart that women in south sudan in general will prevail.Three weeks ago there’s a post on gurtong about pre-school education in Torit.The picture of
    kindergarden kids,boys and girls holding hands ,clading in
    their graduation garbs,and with their precious smiles on the
    their innocent faces,that only gives hope that no woman left
    behind.Another picture was school girls about 13-16 of age
    somewhere around Rumbek.Those school girls in uniform,where
    holding their books,everything in the picture shows the lack
    and limited resources,but there was thing which th lustful
    eyes can not see,and that’s the determination,commitment,and
    patience in their face.What they need is a brother,companion
    ,a role model teacher,a protector,just some good guys of
    character and integrity.Good guys see young girls as their
    younger sisters,because they view woman as [a mother,sister,
    companions,and a wife]
    >Women too have their feelings,you see young girls in our
    communities,when they reach the age of puberty they think of their dream hero,someone special riding on a white horse
    holding high his romantic banner and a loving sword of justice to rescuse her from her routine trivial duties of
    everyday life.But now and onward there’s a glimmer of hope
    on the horizon,because they’re on a right track educating
    themselves which will benefits us all.Just look at the national and international arenas these days;Dr,Itto has a courage,the
    capacity,and the ability to hold the authority and declares
    the most important issue concerning our people in the upcoming
    referendum.Another southern lady is a recipient of women’s
    rights award which given to her by us department of foreigner ffairs ,is all over the media.
    And the fabulous Miss Malaika ,with her intelligece and
    sweetness ,smartness and beauty she will rock the world
    I’m so proud of them all .
    you see how our women are projecting a positive image of
    our people and home land just in a short time.Imagine what
    we could accomplish in the next few years.Just give them a
    chance.If any of my sisters reading this ,I tell my sister
    don’t give up,look inside your mind ,equip yourself with
    word of God ,acquire knowledge and eduacate yourself.
    For you’re and you will be a faithful loving mother who fears God,a beautiful wife of a farmer who toils on the virgin land with pride and hardship,and you’ll be tutoring your children because your’re not an illiterate.You’ll be the pretty face in the media ,pilot ,engineer,lawyer,nurse ,
    professor,teacher in the class room full of children,and so
    on
    Go girl,go your pontentials are limitless.
    And for guys ,I got news for you
    soon ,she’s gonna be on the driver’s seat.
    Think about it heroes!!!

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  • 16 December 2010 21:47, by J G kuol

    Gentlemen,Dude has raised agood question about the credibility of honest journalism.And Makuei too asked a
    good question"has anyone read the customery law?"
    These laws were there since time of our grand,grand fathers
    through Eghptian-Turkey(turuk malual thiedh,as our grand
    fathers used to call them) even British when they brought us their civilization they kept those laws as law of the land in Bahr Elghazal and part of UperNile.ask yourself why
    the British kept it.> Let say Dude has messed up with my
    sister,she will be sent to her lover,then we’ll wait,they show
    up and the talk begins between two families,if they say the
    girl will be a wife for their son, people will be hugging
    and shaking hands declaring strong relationship which bonds
    two families.If they say our son is not ready,well ,here comes conflict,the court,and don’t forget we’re a collective
    entity.So the conflict starts from family to superfamily
    through clan up to the trible is possible.Destroying a girl’s future by refusing to marry her is considered to be
    an act of rudness and disrespect.So my friend Dude would
    be smart enough to watch his back because I would be intoxicated with vengeance.
    (1)the law is not incriminating pregnancy here.
    is simply saying if you don’t marry her ,you’ll pay a
    compensation.
    (2) the law is on the side of the girls,
    after all were is the dignity of the girl,when she gets
    impregnated then thrown under the bus?

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