Home | News    Friday 11 March 2011

Lakes state officials says men, imprisoned for making girls pregnant, should be released

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By Manyang Mayom

March 10, 2011 (RUMBEK) – Lakes state’s advisor for gender and human rights, Adak Costa Mapuor, has appealed for men imprisoned, under the state’s controversial law against impregnating girls to be released.

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Lakes state advisor on gender and human right affairs Adak Costa Mapuor. (ST)

Over 50 men are in custody due to the law brought in by the state government in an attempt to limit pregnancy outside of marriage and pregnancy of girls under 15 years. According to Costa pregnancy outside marriage is not a crime in Dinka culture, the predominant ethnic group in the area, and therefore the men should be released.

The Lakes state human rights adviser said: “Pregnancy of girls is not a crime in Dinka customs – please set free those boy who are kept in custody due to elopement of girls cases – those boy have not make offense, at all both in Dinka costmary law and constitution - love is natural feeling of human being and marriage is full responsibility of family.”

However, she did say that the government needed to intervene if both parents disagree on marriage procedures.

The president of high court in Lakes state, Geri Raimondo Legge said on March 8 that intended to raise the sentence for young men who impregnated girls to 25 years imprisonment. Judge Raimondo, said that due to instances of intimidation across Lakes state, he needed to make sure people were aware of the law.

Lakes state’s main correctional prison service is holding 58 young men for the crime. Among those incarcerated are two university student s and a 14 years old boy, who is accused of having sex with an underage girl. The state’s leading judge said that he was increasing the sentence to 25 years as after mitigation it would be reduced to 10 or 14 years.

Even before the stricter sentencing youth groups have protested against the law.

The speaker of Lakes state’s parliament, John Marik Makur, denied that the law being applied by judge Raimondo was the same as the copy passed by the state’s parliament. Marik said that the Customary Law passed by the state parliament did not mention arresting young men who had impregnated girls.

However, Judge Raimondo, says that he is acting legally using section 273 of the Customary Law, which talk of kidnapping and child abduction as well section 247, which talk of underage sex and rape.

Young men who are under arrest under say they are being held unjustly. Across the eight counties of Lakes state groups have protested against the laws and the imprisonment of the men.

Some young people and organisations have vowed not to re-elected incumbent governor Chol Tong Mayay at the next election. However, the Lakes state governor has promised that the judge of High Court in Lakes state Geri Raimondo Legge could not be replaced until the Supreme Court in the South’s capital Juba appoints a replacement.

On Tuesday the Sudan country director of Women for Women International, Karak Mayik, condemned the law saying that impregnating a girl in Dinka society is not considered a crime. Judge Raimondo should take note of this she said.

She said that the community needed to “select the best parts and throw away the bad parts” of culture and treat men and women equally.

“Pregnancy is not a crime we need to have equal judgment. Let us stop beating our sisters if she gets pregnant, she is going to give birth to a new baby which could become president.”

Rumbek prison

Col. Kamis Angui, who is in charge of prisoners inside Rumbek’s main prison said March 8 that the numbers of prisoners was increasing.

The men sentenced for getting a girl pregnant are held alongside murderers, thieves and those held for driving offenses. He said that 486 people were being held at the prison. Despite the large numbers Angui said that conditions were good in the prison and inmates were healthy and well fed.

In Rumbek prison Sudan Tribune spoke to Simon Makur Marik a third year university student who was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. He says he has been wrongly convicted and accused Judge Raimondo of not giving him a fair hearing.

“I was in the process of getting married but Judge Raimondo put me in jail, without hearing a word from my parents. My parent s agreed to me marrying this girl but Raimondo misused books of law such as the Child Act, Penal Code Act and Lakes state customary law to sentence me to ten years without hearing my defense.”

He explained that if you impregnate a girl under 15 years of age, then Raimondo will sentence you to jail for ten years, saying that you have impregnated an underage girl. Makur said “ this judge does not look back into Dinka cultures, h e just imposed what he thinks as an Equatorian man, who lacks the culture to be respected. We Dinka consider girls who menstruate as mature and she deserves to become woman immediately.”

Makur said that “the life of entire youth is at mess here in Lakes state due to this wrong law.”

Majith Makoi, a student in Jier primary school, arrested on 25 December, 2010 said “this law is being imposed on us, they are not working in other states of Southern Sudan – this law is harmful to us people of Lakes state – we are suffering.”

He was senetenced to five years imprisonment and a ten cow fine.

According to William Ater, another man arrested for the crime, Judge Raimondo is applying laws which have not been passed by the Lakes state Assembly.

“I seriously blame the governor of Lakes state and the judge, for allowing such a law to be applied to his supporters. As soon as we get out from this jail we are going to campaign to abandon marrying Rumbek girls. We have to marry girls from neighbouring states.

International Women’s Day

Thousands of people gathered in Freedom Square Rumbek, the capital of Lakes state, on Tuesday to celebrate International Women’s Day. Various organisations in Lakes took the opportunity to call on the judiciary to set free the young men who had been jailed using the controversial law.

The subject of promoting girls child education featured prominently during the celebrations, with speakers calling for concrete measures to curb early and forced marriages.

Adak Costa Mapuor, the Advisor for Gender and Human Right Affairs in Lakes State, said that the empowerment of women in South Sudan can be the best achieved through education. She affirmed that many years of war has slowed down women from pursuing education.

Costa said that although the 2005 deal peace deal and the South’s vote to become independent offered a conducive environment to spread girls education across South Sudan.

There are still other obstacles to be surmounted, she said, maintaining that gender sensitive policies to promote girl child education are needed to get women out of their present quagmire.

She also cited women themselves as a barrier to their own full empowerment, explaining that some women have entrusted to their young daughters’ family responsibilities that prevent them from pursuing formal education. The empowerment of women, she said, can be the best achieved through education. She said that many years of war slowed progress in women’s literacy.

Costa also appealed to Lakes State government leadership to improve water access, maintaining that with water close by, girls will be dedicate their time to books rather than collecting water. She also said that this would allow families to be more economically empowered through farming.

Dhieu Wal, the Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs Chairman in Lakes State Legislative Assembly, repeated the message stating that empowerment of women has to begin with girl child education.

He also castigated the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) program of the United Nations in Lakes state that brings to Rumbek women from different locations in the state in view of giving them skills in running a business.

Wal said that the capital of 200 Sudanese Pounds given to the women after three months of training was not enough to start a businesses across eight counties of Lakes state. However, he said that the another UN programme run by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) had succeeded in empowering women economically through the provision of farming tools.

Speaking on behalf of the governor of Lakes state, the deputy governor Daniel Ayuol Makoi quoted the South’s former president and rebel leader John Garang, saying that “women in Sudan are the marginalized of the marginalized people”. He further said that many women in South Sudan have not much to celebrate on International Women’s Day.

He joined other voices in calling for equal education opportunities for girls, advocating for policies that discourage the marriage of underage girls.

Lakes state has in the recent past experienced cases of girls resisting early and forced marriages in favour of education. In extreme cases, some girls have committed suicide. There have also been cases of girls being killed by their families after becoming pregnant or refusing to marry men chosen by the family. This is often accredited to the bride price paid or dowry paid to the family of the girl.

(ST)

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  • 11 March 2011 09:47, by Xeno

    Yes world,

    Its good that "Rumbek Justice" is undergoing some sort of civilizable modifications. I thought it was extremely insane men are sentenced , even to life, for doing what was once time immemorial, culturally normal practice. Even if this practice is contemptuous upon news of girl’s impregnation, both sides, still convene to forming lasting relationships between families, and the integrity of such marriages is honorably glorious as of other forms of marriages. Until the emergency of "RJ", it was a stance across board....hey its good now they have seen the dark side of it.

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    • 11 March 2011 10:09, by kuol M. Deng

      Manyang Mayom MUST quit writing on Sudan Tribune. His articles always contain lots of English error. Erroneous mistakes astray readers to understand the point of subject. ....those boy.... has grammar mistake, it is just ...those boys. Everytime I read Manyang Mayom’s article, I feel like not going to school anymore.

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      • 11 March 2011 10:25, by Xeno

        Kuol,

        Focus on the message being communicated, not the way it’s written. The very essential thing those writers should be cautioned is the reporting of events...

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        • 11 March 2011 10:52, by kuol M. Deng

          True! Furthermore, everything needs to be adjusted, we are not the only readers on this forum.

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      • 11 March 2011 10:56, by Jurdit Mayen

        Brother,Manyang Mayom is just a primary six drop out student of Ager-gum primary school.So he has no capacity to deliver a propare articles that can satified the academic conciouse students who have reached the highers level of studies.

        He is there putting fake articles to get money for his own survival in Lakes state.Life in Lakes state is so expensive where by people like Manyang who have not gone for advances studies should work hard to get something for their life.

        Let us ignor his articles and look for the best.

        by stubon boy of Lakes State

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        • 11 March 2011 11:21, by kuol M. Deng

          Jurdit,

          You are truely a real man who can feed the majority of people with truths, keep it up brother.

          repondre message

      • 11 March 2011 17:31, by South Elite Eye (see)

        To Jurdit Mayen and Kuol M. Deng

        Your comment on Manyang Mayom is ridiculous and it portrays that your little Kampala’s education is leading you down the garden path. I know you guys are fond of bragging a lot about education while in real sense you are miles away from elite world (literacy).

        Manyang is a brilliant scholar and hard work earned him the position he is holding. Indeed thank to my brother who informed you about the legendary Shakespeare.

        You guys are jealous of him for no heaven sake cause. Even great writers do err in English so Manyang is no option.

        I am studying Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery.
        SEE

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      • 11 March 2011 21:01, by Shadrack Nuer Machut

        Hello Readers!

        First of all I’d like to pass my appreciation to her Excellency Ms. Adak Costa Mapuor for her sympathy on boys arrested aimlessly.

        Dear youngsters of Lakes State, we should blame our so called elders or parliamentarians of having not undrstood the politics deeply.

        Where is this man called president of high court coming from?
        His barbaric laws are associated to the policy of Jur killing people especially Dinka. We shall not die like chicken without their hen or a cock.

        It is better to react against this action earlier than waiting for everyone to die alone otherwise it is going to affect each and everyone consectively.

        It’s unlawful to arrest young man who has impregnated a girl for 25 years.

        How perfect is the judge to let that law come out from his throat? He is like the Jews who killed Jesus for his good deeds.
        He wants to reduce the population of Lakes State indirectly so that in future the people from his home/ tribe/state will conquer the generation of Lakes State in the times to come.
        We should be more vigilant enough to escape the suffering before we are finished or detained in custody for morronic laws.

        I’d like to extend my warning to other state youth to refrain from suporting this primitive act endorsed blindly against the youth of Lakes state.

        There is no smoke without fire.

        You will never understand the importance of buttocks until you develop the boils on them.

        There’s time for everything.
        Thanks.
        From Rumbek (Dinka).

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      • 11 March 2011 22:28, by Tribe

        Folks,
        If there is any youth leadership(including women) in Lake State , i would advice for them to take some initiative as of now.They need to come together as a committee and explicitly scutinize the problem. When i say scrutinize, i mean those individuals need to look at it as if they were a brother,a sister,parents or a boy and girl who are the center of this issue. Deliberate over it objectively to see the pros and cons of issue and then propose some meaningful solutions.Ultimately write a petition letter to any deserving parties within or outside the state.These parties would encompass state governor, legislators,parliamentarians , and community leaders if no all.

        yapping over whether the article was well written or calling this ruling unjust will not ultimately make this issue go away. i think it is a waste of somebody precious knowlege.Remember this is a down rooted social issue within the Dinka heartland. It will not just disappear with those quick-fix of locking up the culprits or calling for an emmediate release.It need social and sciential sort of thinking to mitigate the issue and i know Lakes state has that kind of minds in abundant. Therefore, i wouldn’t be a challenge to put it together.

        By the way,receive my post as a brainstorming quest to solving a problem not a challenge to no one.
        Thanks

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      • 12 March 2011 08:02, by onlysonmabi

        Kuol M you are very stupid why do you run after the man how far have you gone to school?

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      • 12 March 2011 08:04, by doctor nuong

        dear brother Jurdit mayen
        going to school is just an art or increase of skill but an I.Q of an individual varies from one to another,Journalist Manyang mayom is really the man with high level of I.Q imagine if he has been under study upto higher education, who could assumt among you to compet with him.if iam depending the above Lakes state Journalist,please try to test current primary six whom you humilated to make narrative composition or decription of particular event so that you know different,iam sure even you yourself could not do that assignment.

        aguacnuong

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    • 11 March 2011 16:45, by mayom maboung marek

      What are editors and sub-editors of sudantribune doing?
      any way,let us go a head with substance of information and let the man do his work

      William Shakespeare was an English poet and he was widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s pre-eminent dramatist.

      he was a primary six leaver.

      Hitler Adolf, after doing very badly in his exams,he left school at the age of fifteen [primary 7 leaver] and become leader of National Socialism (Nazism).

      Manyang is progressing.

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      • 11 March 2011 23:44, by Tribe

        mayom maboung marek,

        Your source must be wrong if not you about Adolf Hitler.

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      • 12 March 2011 01:41, by Johnny

        Yes! you are wrong about Hitler, here you go again>

        After Alois’ sudden death on 3 January 1903, Hitler’s behaviour at the technical school became even more disruptive, and he was asked to leave. He enrolled at the Realschule in Steyr in 1904, but upon completing his second year, he and his friends went out for a night of celebration and drinking, and an intoxicated Hitler tore his school certificate into four pieces and used it as toilet paper. When someone turned the stained certificate in to the school’s director, he "... gave him such a dressing-down that the boy was reduced to shivering jelly. It was probably the most painful and humiliating experience of his life." Hitler was expelled, never to return to school again.

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      • 12 March 2011 08:13, by onlysonmabi

        thanks mr Mayom this boys of Lake have bad heart to Manyang well is the one open Lake state eye.by giving any information about what is going on in the state.let them go with thier emety mind.

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    • 11 March 2011 18:09, by Marial Mangar Akol

      Dear brothers, make your comment to be specific rather than being contrary to the point.

      I am just blaming all the youth of Lakes state, because the only judge who posed these fake panel court of child abduction, raping and under age for 2008 act is not from Lakes state . this judge does not look back into Dinka cultures, h e just imposed what he thinks as an Equatorian man, who lacks the culture to be respected. We Dinka consider girls who menstruate as mature and she deserves to become woman immediately.”

      So if he continue imposing we, the youth shall decide for two options either to kill him or to making big violence demonstration.
      and thanks,

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  • 11 March 2011 10:06, by Madingthith

    LAKES STATE MUST BE STATE OF GIRLS CRIMES,

    Adak Mapuor, thank you very much you have done your part b release those bad immoral people who ends up in impregnating young school girls without even marrying them.
    Rumbek term to be a state of high criminal acts report regarding girls problems with their parents like those four case studies being reported.

    Girls are to be married yes and if she wanted to enjoy herself before marriage then there is no point of beating her to death, is that the solution to the problem Adak Costa? And is it the way we shall be dealing with our daughters in case of attempting to play sex with their boyfriends. Rumbek must be consider a state of girls crimes reported.

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    • 11 March 2011 10:42, by nyic rot

      This is a commercial law where by President of lakes state hight court is gainig alot from the fines. Hon members of LSLA have passed the law without knowing the effects.
      Lakes state Assemble has been dominated by splm that, why they passed such a law no opposition.

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  • 11 March 2011 10:41, by Alfredo christiani

    Dear readers
    These are words of mouth from Adak Costa. The current law isn’t like jungle law ,which peoples play with it .they will be release on general amnesty on 9/7/2011 together with former commissioner of yirol west .what goes around comes around full stop

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  • 11 March 2011 10:49, by kuol M. Deng

    Manyang Mayom must learn that Customary Laws in Rumbek or Lake State are not applicable to all Dinka Sections in Southern Sudan. Dinka people, including those of Rumbek are wise enough, but killing of young girls because of dowry, like it happened three times in Rumbek, one time in Jonglei State, has gone way beyond human mind and capacity, and to primitive idea and thoughts!

    Previously one girl was beaten to death for false sex accusations, second girl hang herself for being taken out of school and forced to marry an old man, third girl plus that of Jonglei triggered the hottest protest against women’s mistreatment in South Sudan.

    Lake State Legislative Assembly is mixing "Apples and oranges." There cannot be an adoption of primitive laws that lack philosophical thoughts, to a developing young nation. Lake State is dumping the whole region into mosquitoes breeding hole. There must be an an intervention, fine adjustment to Law formation made sooner before other nations jeered, laughing at South Sudan.

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    • 11 March 2011 11:44, by Cibaipiath Junub Sudan

      Pregnancy in girls is not a crime if it is intended but it become a "crime of love" if it is not intended.

      Who is to carry the burden of the responsibility of unexpected child born through "Crime of Love"?

      When a girl become pregnant as result of love and sexual feelings by both, the men are to take full responsibility on the outcome of their love by accepting to marry such girls. If the men reject such girls, what does it showed? Who is to carry the burdens.

      I thought Adak could be a good advisor to advocate for girls’ protections and Child rights and now seem not.

      Therefore, I would appeal to the community of Lakes State whose girls were pregnanated by the 58 men who would be released by the recommendation and appeal from the Adviser on Gender to take all the 58 pregnanted girls to the house of Adak Cost Mapour so that she has to meet the cost of caring for 106 persons.

      The pregnant normally become vunerable and depreciated their value. Traditionally they are not respected in the community as virgins and hence, regarded as second hands or used ones.

      If the Government stakholders support crimes intended like pregnanting a girl then the problems is with the Government officials. I personnaly is a man and i do give girls and women their rights. Girls and women nevertheless call men to have sex with them. Men are they one who normally call for women and plead around with lots of cheatings that "i love you so much my darling, my dear wife and etc" Girls or Women accept sex with conditions always and if those conditions are agreed upon then they would not refuse. After they have given themselves in, the men ran away or rejected them. You see the case.

      What is Adak trying to say here? It could have been good for her to ask for taking the responsibility of Girls whom the 58 men have pregnanted. She has alot of money. She was Minister for 5 years and now Adviser to the Governor. She is very rich.

      Or otherwise,i advise Youth to pregnant girls of Government officials like Adak. Adak has to tell his parent like Costa Mapour to return her bride wealth dowry paid by Late Malual Manyiel Cindut. Otherwise, she has commented something in future if it happened to her daughter she will be beaten by Family of Cindut. Take care Adak.

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  • 11 March 2011 11:17, by Deng Tut

    This is really an unfair trial; the boy in question should be heard by the Judge otherwise it will be the violation of the natural justice which he has a rights in rem and personam rights. As a minor; the Honorable Judge should called in both guardians of the respective minors, be heard before the appropriate Court in Rumbek,

    On other hand Hourable Judge act according to the interpretation of the Code or Law, as he mentioned Section 273 of the Customary Law described the kidnapping, and Section 247 for child abduction; this are serious crimes in nature which any judge or Legal practitioners should put it into consideration during the Trial and punish the wrongdoer.
    To arrest a man for the cause of pregnancy a girl, is not a crimes because it is for the protection of a man against the girl’s parents, ( dowry problem) the may kill him or torture him for the offence he committed.

    In addition to that, there is a different between Customary Law and Criminal Law hence the Lake State Advisor should understand the decision of the Judge not just condemning the Judge in his decision.

    There should be a provision in the constitution which is against Dowry with a reasonably higher punishment, so that it works as a deterrent, which will have jurisdiction in all the Tribes in South. As of now the drafting of the Constitution with commendable efforts is been carried out by the politicians or the experts or some Lawyers like Moulana Gurbandi and will be enforced by the authorities of the GOSS, especially Judiciary, without any fear.

    Whereas, one thing our traditional or the customary Law in Southerners Sudan is that, the Constitutional law is not codified i.e.- not in a written form., We should take into consideration the written constitutional laws of Britain, United States of America, India, etc. Therefore we should take the Britain or the Indian Constitution as a suitable constitutional law for the traditional law regarding marriage, for which we need more efforts to reach that stage of dowry-free marriages

    The problem of the dowry dismantled some of our tribes especially Dinka; its very risky for the girl to refuse to marry the man of his clean in Dinka areas, this can’t happen in Nuer Land or Equatorian Land nowadays. Moulana Gurbandi, being a good leader of the people he has been alerting the communities of Southerners but on the other hand Moulana should understand since he is one of the people who can advise the President and the Vise President how to solves that matter in this crucial moment and get the law codified as soon as possible so that it can enforceable and the wrong-doers can be punished.

    In my view the dowry has no problem with it as it is a part of our traditional or customs Law, but forcing the younger girl or younger man to marry a girl or man without the mutual consent it is against the natural law which all the intellectual’s should understands whatsoever their learning. The entire incidence in different States in Southerner Sudan came because the law is not enforced by our authorities. There should be the determination of the fact of the wrong doing committed by the husband and the appropriate Court in our Country, Republic of South Sudan should take legal action and punish the wrong-doer and protect the right of a woman.

    The marriage institution can be protected if the dowry can be eradicated from this Country. One should understand and respect the right of a woman in a modern world. It is not about buying a woman as if you are buying a book in a shop, since a woman is a human being like a man, and has equal rights and should be protected as a part of the respectable society.

    Deng “Pur Tut Deng”

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  • 11 March 2011 12:07, by Gaddfa

    I hope the so-called gender and human rights are aware of what they are doing, because to me its seem they’re giving those people who don’t think twice of somebody else future a green light to destroy the society.

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