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Sale of alcohol to minors widespread in South Sudan - report

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October 1,2011 (JUBA) - An internal report from South Sudan ministry of gender,child and social welfare seen by Sudan Tribune on Saturday said that children under the legal limit of 18 are involved in the sale and widespread consumption of alcohol.

The report expressed total dismay and horror the rampant and indiscriminate sale of alcoholic drinks to children under 18 years, including school children by “certain unscrupulous businessmen”.

South Sudan became an independent country in July and unlike north Sudan which is governed by Islamic Shari’a law has a secular constitution permitting consumption of alcohol.

As a country emerging out of destructive two-decade civil war, South Sudan faces a lot of challenges including prevalence of huge population of children without parents on the streets of the new nation.

The report also indicates consumption of bicycle solution and other concentrated alcoholic drinks are prevalent, especially among orphans and street children.

In an attempt to address some of the challenges facing the children, the ministry has dispatched teams of researchers to various states in South Sudan to find out the number of children involved in the sale and consumption of alcohol.

The Ministry also stated that preliminary research findings have revealed that the drinks containing 40% alcohol have been found being sold in sachets at a price of 3 South Sudanese pound per sachet to children less than 18 years of age in various parts of the country including South Sudan’s capital Juba.

“Consequently, it is easily affordable and available to children at this price. Most of the drinks sold to children include red bull which is disguised as an energy drink because it is not clearly labeled as alcohol. This drink among other drinks could be easily misleading,” the internal report noted.

The ministry totally condemnd and discouraged sale of alcohol to children saying it was detrimental to the health and progress of young people.

“The government of the Republic of South Sudan has invested a lot and is very much concerned in the positive development of young people in this country and will not tolerate any unscrupulous business concerns that engage in activities that could impair the health and well-being of children and youth,” the report stated.

“The Ministry acknowledged and appreciates the swift responses from the Ministries of Health and Social Welfare, Justice, Trade and Interior, in addressing this social menace,” the report concluded.

(ST)

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  • 3 October 2011 06:33, by George

    Laws and regulations should be lay out so that the business people could be aware. Without the regulations how and where can the business person decline to received money.
    Where there is no law,there is no way to decline for any act.

  • 3 October 2011 07:21, by Anyangaliec

    It’s absolutely detrimental and should be address urgently if the concerns ministry is quite serious about the health of our young people.One way to addressed it will be to institutes the needed law urgently, so that it could acted as a viable deterrence to those who are acutely involved in this shoddy business.Otherwise, it could be hard to identify who’s who in the situation.

  • 3 October 2011 09:42, by Peter Nhiany

    This is a serious problem and our government should address it promptely. It is distorting the welfare of our communities in South Sudan. All people in South Sudan should be issued an identification cards with name, and date of birth. This should be made law to band teen drinking. Please save our communities from being robbed by alcohol. Thanks to the ministries for their swift respond.

    • 3 October 2011 18:49

      I think the article is somewhat unworthy. If red bull is one of the example of alcohol drink in south sudan that need regulation, then we are doom as a nation. I thought they would give some example like Whisky,Beer etc.

  • 7 October 2011 14:56, by gabriel matip

    alcohol consumption in south sudan will depend on importation laws of alcohol to south sudan ... there are no strong alcohol laws in south sudan .
    according to me..low price alcohols which we young people can manage to buy should not be imported to south sudan ..alcohol should be one of the most expensive drink in south sudan.



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