South Sudan Vice president for Economic Cluster James Wani Igga has called local chiefs in Jonglei State to regulated traditional bride dowries.
The top leader was addressing delegations at peace conference in Juba on Monday. Mr Igga attributed high bride dowries as a source to rampant cattle raiding.
Jonglei and Pibor experienced long-term youth inter-communal violence on cattle rustling, revenge killing, and children abduction.
In his speech, the vice president was so concerned about rampant cattle raiding that escalated insecurity threats among the innocent people.
Some community members believed that the traditional highest bride marriage in the communities forced young people to raids other people’s cows to get married.
Wani urged chiefs to sit down with their communities to reduce the bride price so that youth stop engaging in cattle rustling.
“High bride price, the wealth you need your youth to marry need to be reduced. It is not fair to sell your daughter like a car. If there is no wealth, this causes the proceeds of raiding too. This needs the chiefs of Jonglei to intervene because youth who have no cows go and raid to get more cows to marry.”
The Acting Paramount Chief of Bor County Sultan Malaak Ayuen disputed the suggestion. He said local chiefs have no powers to dictate traditional marriage and cannot preside over marriage processes.
“The chiefs have no powers to rule over marriages. The fathers and the relatives of the girls are the main characters of the marriage. They determine whether to give their daughter with a small number of cows or, not but chiefs have no authority in this case.”
Chief Malaak says the official bride price is 30 cows in Jonglei state, but some people increased it to hundreds of cows depend on their will.