Home | News    Saturday 25 December 2010

Lakes state youth campaign against pregnancy law

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By Manyang Mayom

December 21, 2010 (RUMBEK) – Various youth organizations in Lakes state launched a campaign against the state’s law against impregnating girls in Rumbek on Monday.

Youth bodies from Lake’s state eight counties set up a committee to meet Lakes State Assembly speaker, Judiciary leaders and the state governor to lobby to reduce the sentences for convicted of impregnating girls before marriage.

A youth representative said the law was unfair as it targeted young men but not older men who are also responsible for making girls pregnant. The campaigner, who did not to be named, said that lawmakers should focus on preventing cattle raiding rather than early pregnancy if they wanted to stop conflict in the state.

Members of the youth groups said that State Speaker, John Marik Makur, replied to their demands saying that the new customary law was amended by traditional chief’s authority to reduce the high rate of impregnated school girls and underage girls.

However, youth members also demanded that early marriages and forced also be made illegal and for these acts to be included into new customary law.

Youth leaders also told the officials in the meeting that more jobs need to be made available to stop government officials from marrying underage girls. The youth leaders also said they need more jobs to be created by state government but state government declined saying that they did have enough funds.

Santino Adong, chairman for Rumbek Youth Union (RUMYU), criticized the new customary law saying that the new customary law does not meet the standard position of Dinka customary law cultures and norm of pastoralists across states such as Jonglei, Warrap, Unity and Lakes state.

He said that most of our children have no proper birth certificate to affirm whether they are underage or not.

Over ten young men have been sentenced to ten years in imprison by Lakes state’s court for impregnating school age and underage.

Judge Geri Raimondo Legge, told Sudan Tribune that judges were applying the “new customary law of Lakes state passed this year to this sentence youth members who impregnate underage girls and school girls”.

He said that the South Sudan Panel Code Act for 2009, could sentence person to 14 years imprisonment if you rape the girl – however Lakes state new customary law does not mentioned the jail term for impregnating girls but put the sentence for rape at a maximum of ten years.

According to another youth member, who requested not to be named, “we will protest against Lakes state legislatures until they will accept our call for changing this bad law – we will not give up our rights – we need human rights activists to help us.

He said that the officials who made the law were “uneducated”.

An unnamed youth leader told Sudan Tribune that if government of Lakes state did not address their demands, protests would be held within the next week.

He affirmed that “we will not celebrate Christmas while our youth members are sentence unlawfully – we need our arrested youth members to be free from that notorious jail – this new customary law is full inhumanity”.

Lakes state governor Chol Tong Mayay pushed the blame to Lakes state lawmakers for having not verified the customary law drafted by Lakes state traditional chiefs authority.

Tong said that “I have signed this new customary law into law because it was passed by lawmakers in parliament – it is up to lawmakers to change it once more if need is required by youth”.

Majority of youth members are blaming state governor for having let them down in allowing such law to hand out such long sentences.

(ST)

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  • 25 December 2010 07:30, by Bol Deng

    I have been reading articles about the pregnancy laws in Lake States for almost a weak,but i feel like there are some confusion about the laws against the pregnancy of girls in Lake State. I am confuse whether this laws need to be applied to the adult girls or underage one. If the laws is against the pregnancy of underage girls, then i should get convince that the Laws in Lake State and the entire South Sudan should amend the laws that should protect the underage ,so that they should complete their studies and latter get married after they become adult.And i think that laws should be put into some consideration,but the sentences should be reduce. The gaps of ages is widely known worldwide that the adult should be 18 years-this is my opinion and worldwide standard.

    But, if the laws is against the adult girls,then the government is not going to stop the problem because these adults are going to seek for their families in different ways. As we all knows that there many forms of married,and one of them is pregnant a girl.So, i think the law against pregnancy is not clear. Thanks

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    • 25 December 2010 08:25, by john

      If governor think the law is not right he should veto it instead signed it. what a joke ?

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    • 25 December 2010 11:47, by John Gum

      Guys,Governor is confused but question,iam the governor of the state,law is passed erroneously by my MPS,why should signed the law without verifying it?i have to take some time to ready it.how should i know the law has convene my citizen humanity and culture?this is malfunction.remember law is to everybody not only for those who are not holding position in the government and poor peoples.

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    • 25 December 2010 16:39, by Shadrack Nuer Machut

      I don’t know which one is which that made the customary laws against the youth! Governor says "it is not me but the state assembly that passed the customary."

      Secondly, State Assembly members say "they are traditional rulers that brought the new law." Are they called traditional rulers or leaders? What is the difference btn them and the MPs?
      Should the so called traditional leaders or rulers endose the laws or instead propose a bill to be discussed in the assembly?

      Or should a governor endose a law without his undestanding?

      Why is there so denial that every responsible government stakeholder can’t affirmly accept the matter?

      It is not a crime to impregnate a girl but it is a crime to rape. It’s also a crime to commit adultry and defilement.
      It’s also a crime to marry a girl on forceful parental agreement without acknowledgement and agreement from the girl.
      It’s also a crime to pass a law and made it effetive without the assurance, knowledge, consent, understanding and awareness of the public.
      I personally came to undrestand it when I open the Sudan tribune website.
      It is not too late to be rectified.

      If it’s a law without a person who proposed it then it can’t be a law when it didn’t become a bill for the first time.

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  • 25 December 2010 08:27, by Joseph

    Congratulations to lake state youth association. [GO A HEAD, GOD WILL BE BEHIND YOU] These useless customary laws which are not in others Dinkas states must be condemned in every corner of lake state. Even you can involve human right groups to be part of solution.
    You are the future leaders of South Sudan, don’t fear. I agreed with student who said the official who made the law were Uneducated, for how long will lake state keep uneducated to be on the neck of educated people’s . These illiterate groups used to fill their Hungary stomach with “Nyamacoma” and come out with non development programme

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    • 25 December 2010 09:30, by Stephen Gatloth K

      that is right for this youths to riot and protest for their right demoted by the state LA.i think the state LA expressing their own interest not the interest of lake state girls.whom do they think to marriage those ladies,when the getting mariage does not specifially be in mean open wedding world wide,also you are against the will of youths boys as well as girls. Please stop that by now.

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  • 25 December 2010 10:27, by John Ruei

    Dear brothers I have agreed with what governor Chol Tong said is true because those who make laws are expected to be educated people and that is why governor has signed the document without virficiation, don,t put more blame on him he is right to do what speaker and his members did and if he refuse it by then it would have to be accountabl to him and that is why he made it clear that there will be amendment if lawmakers have agreed to do it.

    Your execillency governor the way you have responsed this illegal customary laws which neglect the right and the custom of people of Greator Yirol is the way how a leader do the thing and if you keep it on like this then your leadership will be no end.
    Remember those who always said they are lawmakers sometime make some laws intensionly to destroy the leadership of some body who is in leadership like you and your cabanets.

    To my collegues youth please be patince your governor has undrstood your problem and he said there will be amendment of this customary law but, I suggest suppose not to make the amendment of the law first, they should have to explored the custom of variours communities of Lakes state first such as Atuot, Ciec, Aliap, Agar, Gok, and Jurbel after knowing their differnces then the amendment should be easy.

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  • 25 December 2010 18:35, by omoni Atari

    please guys, dont put all the blames to the governor,they so called law makers are the one responsible for all this mess.
    Law makers lack critical thinking rather than just laid their pens on paper and signed something they did not even discussed it propperly.

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  • 26 December 2010 00:32, by kuol M. Deng

    Lakes State has confused the whole society of South by amending and signing the impregnation of girls into law. Who will remove this signature? Governor,deputy and the speaker of the Lakes State Assembly must resign because Signing something into law is irreversible.

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  • 26 December 2010 05:07, by Deng E. Manyuon

    Pregnancy out of wedlock or matual agreement between families should be discouraged. It should be punishable too. But I am against these new laws. They are discriminating against particular section in our society. I will repeat my stand that these laws need to be debated widely by across all sections in Lakes State. Educating Lakes State youth should be a matter of priority. Punishment should follow. You will never create a healthy society by punishing them all the time. Addressing issues of morality should be through education and preaching. Please involve churches, if you need a good outcomes.

    Deng

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    • 26 December 2010 06:30, by Bol Deng

      Mr Deng Manyuon,

      I appreciate your suggestion but how about you like a girl ( 18/above years) and she really like you either, and both of you are able to make family. So base on your relationship through your adoring and engaging;eventually, she end up pregnant,what is the problem then?

      The above case should be completely difference when a girl that you engage is under age( below 18).

      So, do you mean that a man should not pregnant a girl even though she is above age?

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      • 26 December 2010 08:43, by Deng E. Manyuon

        Hi Bol Deng,
        Thank you for your queries. Though it is practically difficult as a human being who is weak and bound to commit mistakes and sins, I should publicly say that I honestly discourage any pregnancy out of matual agreemen between the families or wedlock. This is what our values taught us. Nevertheless, if it happens you did pregnant over 18 yrs old girl, and the reason for your prgnancy was to have full access to your beloved lady or due to whatever circumstance best known to you, you should not by any means be jailed for 10 years and punished by paying over thousands us dollars according to such customary laws. It is a great waste for state tax payers money as well as soci-economic development of our beloved country.

        Impregnating underage girl is inhumane and should be unlawful and illegal my brother Bol. Girl should be mature enough to enjoy her house, husband and kids. Moreover, I am pro-girl education.

        By the way, I am not expert in family laws or customary laws. I am just expressing my personal views through Sudantribune forum of discussion.

        Deng

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