NBG: 16 years’ girl sued parents on forced marriage in Aweil.

Child holding South Sudan flag, a photo used for several campaign on child marriage in the country

A sixteen-year-old girl in Aweil South County has opened a legal court case against her biological parents over forced marriage allegations.

The teenager identified Abuk escaped her father’s home after her family received 16 dowries without her knowledge.

The girl has reported the issue to the Police Special Protection Unit in the area to protect her.

Abuk felt humiliated by her biological parents for abusing her rights because she wasn’t qualified to be married below 18 years.

“My parents have taken cows from someone who wants to take me as a wife, although I told them that I am not interested in marriage because I am very young. I thought of killing myself because I don’t want that person, but some people advised me to first report to the Police.”

Akol Yam contacted her brother Lual Lual. He confirmed that his family had received a summon letter from the police service.

Lual acknowledged his parents received dowries because they tried to marry her off.

“What happened is that this young girl first accepted the marriage and then, later on, changed her mind when we have already made losses of preparing for the wedding, this is what is the problem, but we have agreed to accept her decision and let her return home, 

“We have already returned the cows to the person, and we want her; I have agreed not to marry her off again, so I think there is no need to go to court again.”

The Director of Special Protection Unit, in Aweil Capt. Ayak Agiu says the girl is under their protection unit, and legal procedures will follow.

This is the first time a young girl reported force marriage to the Police in the area.

Last week, South Sudan embarked on a 16 days campaign against gender-based violence to preserve women and girls’ rights.

South Sudan has the eighth highest prevalence of child marriage globally. An International NGO, Oxfam estimated that 71% of girls are married before the age of 18.

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