Government commits to deliver justice for Akuot

By Ephraim Modi Duku Sokiri

Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Justice Ruben Madol Arol, has yesterday made a promise that the law shall bring the perpetrator who gouged the eyes of a young girl a week ago in Tonj East County, Warrap state to justice.

Minister Ruben made the statement when receiving a petition summitted by the United Women in Juba on the legal proceedings concerning the torture of Mary Akuot Agany, the girl whose eyes were pierced by her father over marriage issue.

Speaking at the event, the minister first acknowledged the receipt of petition on the unfortunate incident and emphasized the need to gear more efforts in warranting that justice is served, saying the law will pronounce the judgement upon the culprit.

“We are not the ones who pronounces any judgement on this but through the law, before the courts of law that must pronounce judgment on the situation, we are going to sit to see that maximum justice is done in this particular regard,” Ruben assured.

As a ministry entitled to safeguard the rights of every person in the country, the minister has referred this particular case to the position of the constitution of South Sudan that must be followed.

“We are required to legislate in the manner that protects and promotes the rights of everybody and our constitution trace the rights of each other,” he added.

“We as a ministry of justice are required by a constitution to protect the human rights of everybody, more particularly, the vulnerable people of South Sudan.”

The minister further admitted tackling similar cases in the past.

“It is our national obligation as South Sudanese …in our various backgrounds, we are required to uphold our values of humanity,” he noted.

On the same note, the Director General for Public Prosecution Dr. Gabriel Awow alluded that the case shall be advanced to Juba Prison.

“What I want to say is that, for us to reduce on more talking, the case will be transferred to Juba, this case will be taken very important,” he said.

However, the United Women led by NyachangKouoth Tai, Executive Director for Assistant Mission for Africa on the child abuse and torture of the seventeen-year-old girl condemned the incident.

“We condemn in the strongest terms possible such a barbaric and evil act from a person who claims to be a father and above all knows the best interest of his child, yet he deliberately inflicted permanent harm on an innocent girl child just to appease his private interest over public interest,” Tai said.

“We equally take this opportunity to denounce and condemn all forms of violence against women and children and to end the cycle of gender-based violence (GBV) in South Sudan.”

South Sudan is part of the treaty obligations to a number of international human rights instruments, including being a state party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on 23th January 2015; Convention against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment on 30th April 2015, and finally the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women on 30th 2015 respectively.

She said such imposes international legal obligation on the state to ensure legislative developments and strict adherence to the implementation of the laws and policies criminalizing GBV and other forms of ill-treatment.

Tai further nodded the importance of taking action on the incident which is punishable by the laws of South Sudan Penal Code 2008 and other applicable laws.

She added that Mary recounted years of physical assault by her father and kept her in house for three days without attending to medical treatment after heavy beatings, including fighting her mother whom he chased out of the house weeks to the execution of the evil plan.

Tai urged the justice minister to initiate the criminal prosecution against the father Mr. Agany Kut for the attempted murder on Mary and ministry of gender, child and social welfare to rejuvenate the special protection units within the institutions to address GBV cases in the Country.

She as well called on the national government and development partners to accord protection and necessary psychological and medical support and rehabilitation to the girl maximumly.

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