Religious leaders call for an end to the traditional home burial

A graveyard in Juba South Sudan where IDPS sheltered

A group of religious leaders from Charitarians and Muslim faith-based in Northern Bahr el Ghazal has called on the government to enact a law prohibiting people from burying loved ones who remain at home.

Bishop Abraham Wol Tong, Chairperson of Council of Churches in NBG, said burying dead remains at a family’s residence is not hygiene and causes conflict and land dispute when the owner decides to sell the plot.

Wol urged the state government to create public awareness and measures to let people use the established cemetery site for burial and stop having remains buried in residential areas.

The leader of the Islamic Council in NBG, Abrahim Deng Akok, called the public to make use of the land allocated for the cemetery. He said Aweil Center has 500 to 1000 square meters of land, which is located west of the state capital designated as a cemetery since in 2019—adding that the site is not being used despite it being well secure with the fence.

Some of the residences in Aweil town who spoke to Akol Yam FM say they are not aware of the existence of the designated burial site. Some acknowledge the issue’s importance, and others said they decided to bury their loved ones at home because they were unaware of the cemetery site.

Hon. Abraham Wol Kom is the state minister of information in Northern Bahr el Ghazal. He says they welcome the call made by the religious leaders and promises the government will create public awareness about the importance of bury dead bodies at the cemetery.

He said the government will study the matter before taking an immediate decision on the matter.

Wol urged the religious leaders’ civil society organizations to engage the public on awareness of the importance of graveyards in the urban area.

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