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Unity state calls for underage marriage action

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September 19, 2012 (KAMPALA) – Unity state authorities are calling upon the families of young girls to keep them in school, rather than allowing or forcing them to marry, especially when they are under the legal age of 18.

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South Sudanese schoolgirls (Getty)

William Ghar Bol, deputy director of general education in Unity State told Sudan Tribune that the state Ministry of Education in collaboration with US-based non-governmental organisation, Winrock International, are giving financial support to young girls to remain in school.

It is hoped that this will dissuade young girls from the path of underage marriage.

Bol said the government is working hard to tackle the issue despite the silence of many of the girls’ parents. He called upon parents to “respect the dignity” of their children by keeping them in school.

Female students in Unity state told Sudan Tribune that is a deeply-rooted cultural practise common amongst the Nuer and Dinka ethnic groups. They also claimed that the pride and financial gain involved in receiving marriage-wealth in the form of cattle is a significant contributing factor for some parents.

The focus upon wealth can also lead young girls to marry men much older than them.

It is common practise for girls between the ages of 15 and 17 to marry, despite the legal age being 18. In the last six months there have been 10 cases of underage marriage in the state.

Mary Nyawika Wal a student from Bentiu Secondary school strongly condemned the ongoing practice of forcing her colleagues into early marriage by parents.

Wal urged the government and non-governmental organisations to assist girls in remaining in education.

A report published in April by ex-British PM, Gordon Brown, claimed that less than five percent of South Sudanese girls complete their primary education.

(ST)

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  • 22 September 2012 05:57, by katnyokarieu

    who will stop that while the governer of unity state Taban Deng is pregnanting a girl of 14 yr.it happen last yr, a school girl age 14yrs called Nyanyen Bol Kiir who was living with the unti who got marriage to Taban ,this lady went to Rubkona to buy food stuff he behind called a poor girl give her 35000 ssp, the girl got no option but adhere to his demand.

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    • 22 September 2012 07:05, by George Bol

      Katnyok,
      Stop being a liar.You must respect Taban Deng for him being the sole leader who has brought democracy in Unity State other the state would be govern by warlord and would make the state a villager state.Gust what happen b.n Matip and Riek before? they like Late Matip! Who can deliver service b/n the two in term of foreign affairs.Taban will help you understand the rule of laws. Ok!

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      • 22 September 2012 07:20, by THEY PEOPLE’S POWER

        katnyokarieu
        stop being foolish all the time, why don’t you grow up? what you are saying here is a lie, If those of jallab and north sudan plus Ali hread it, they will used it against you soon, why do you people too emotional like this? please give yourself a break,

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      • 22 September 2012 18:53, by katnyokarieu

        georg Bol. U will belief me if u could go to unity state. Am not a lair but u re driven blindly by taban money, pls try one day to visit unity state, could u see Ruach is not opposing me, pact are pact to be nirated at the movement of the trusth.

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      • 22 September 2012 22:23, by panom lualbil

        GEORGE BOL??
        I strongly agreed with you too, becos TABAN himself is typically A DINKA although by birth from nuers. And go for research, if you think I am lying!! Regardless of Dinka’s name ’DENG’ he is Dinka particularly in leadership. Becos without HIM politically, ARABS would had ocupied UNITY STATE like in PATHOU & ABYEI. Comment: where do you think he got name ’DENG’ from while non-dinka

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        • 22 September 2012 22:33, by panom lualbil

          GEORGE BOL CONTINUED: are called Gatdet, pur, Yoach, Mamok, Foul, andsoforth. They steal Dinka’s name too like they corrupted gov’t’s funds now to provided you with fews, my friend.

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    • 22 September 2012 08:55, by Michael Miyom Minyiel

      You are lying boy. Taban the Governor could not do that.why don’t you respect your leader?

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      • 22 September 2012 19:32, by Bolman

        Minyon please don’t argue that fact must be told katnyok is right if u didn’t see that let people who know happen talks don’t start defend the failure Governor if u never went to Unity State please keep silent ur Governor is already involved himself into so many crimes as criminal Governor he gonna face the criminals charges after people of Unity Stae remove him away from his dictatorleadership

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    • 22 September 2012 19:09, by Bolman

      good question I don’t even know who is going to implemented the Law to prevent the Young Girls not gets marriage on under ages while their Governor start the human right Violation by himself he was start rapping some Young Girls since he become as governor of Unity State everything went through violent toturing innocens intelectuals and young unstablish politian and he chase them away from State

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  • 22 September 2012 08:09, by George Bol

    Ruach,
    Dhole chole Ruach te ni? ejin gat jiok came chieth.
    gaar Mayom county ken dial Nyagat-guanmieth ken gaat Bentiu chame tania khartoum- chie jin food lover(guanmieth)?

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    • 22 September 2012 08:53, by Ruach

      Bol:Ba liel muor ngom!3 ngu ngaci ka Taban?C3 muor kon lom?3 jin gat loma Taban Deng Ka Nueri.Do you really know what democracy is?Ci guac thar.Han ca muor guac!

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    • 22 September 2012 08:56, by Ruach

      3 yin wet Taban

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    • 22 September 2012 15:17, by Ruach

      It is a good,but Nuer culture of paying dowry has been violated.The maximum was 30 cattle and now the gov’t corruptors from neighboring tribe have increased up to 200 cattle through corruption.10-15 is better

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  • 22 September 2012 12:54, by nancy

    under age or not under age this law will not work since top officials are owning young underage girls are in their homes.infact we the young boys are now lucking girls as all are taken by MPS,MINISRERS,GOVERNORS,ADVISORS,DSIRETORS,AND CHIEFS.am appealing to all of this leaders to return young gals to their families otherwise will never stop

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  • 22 September 2012 13:47, by nyantung

    This is a step in the right direction. South Sudan will only rise to its full potential when girls and women are given the same opportunities to develop their intellects and skills as men. Hopefully, national legislation shall be forthcoming.
    Laura Nyantung Beny, Professor of Law

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