A 20-year-old woman was beaten to death by her brothers in South Sudan on Friday after she refused an arranged marriage set up by her parents.
Nyaluk Magorok was killed in the town of Yirol, in Eastern Lakes state, for reportedly turning down the proposal from her parents’ preferred suitor.
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The man had reportedly offered the family 40 cows as a dowry – or conditional gift – ahead of the marriage.
Taban Abel, Minister of Information in Eastern Lakes, told South Sudan’s Radio Tamazuj that the young woman was disciplined by her brothers on the orders of her father.
The state minister said that a man has been arrested over Nyaluk’s death and faces murder charges, while her father has also been jailed. He said;
The father was one who ordered people to kill his daughter because she refused to get married. The first accused is called Anyich.
Abel condemned Nyaluk’s death and said the state would continue to tackle the widespread problem of forced marriage. He said;
This is a barbaric act that needs immediate intervention from the government. This is the second incident of its kind because last year a girl was impregnated and then her father beat her to death.
South Sudan has a deeply rooted cultural practice of paying dowries for brides, usually in the form of cows. It also has a long history of child marriage.
Even though that practice is now illegal, at least 40 percent of girls still marry before age 18, according to the United Nations Population Fund.
But Article 17 of war-torn South Sudan’s constitution supposedly guarantees women and girls the right to consent to marriage.
‘Forcing someone to marry against their will is a clear violation of South Sudan’s own constitution as well as its international human rights obligations,’ said Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and Great Lakes Region.
The marriage and killing are not only illegal, but also inhumane. We call on the government to immediately hold the responsible individuals to account.
Nyaluk’s killing comes just months after the practice of forced marriage in Eastern Lakes state was thrown into the spotlight following the auction of a 17-year-old girl, which resulted in a man three times her age paying the country’s largest-ever dowry.
The man beat at least four other competitors with a winning bid of 500 cows, two luxury cars, $10,000, two bikes, a boat and a few cell phones. Among the bidders was the state’s deputy governor.
The auction went viral and led to international outrage after it was pointed out on Facebook. The 17-year-old became the highest bidder’s ninth wife.
‘She has been reduced to a mere commodity,’ Philips Anyang Ngong, a human rights lawyer who tried to stop the bidding said at the time, calling it ‘the biggest test of child abuse, trafficking and auctioning of a human being.’
Everyone involved should be held accountable, he said.
Credits: Daily Mail