Easter Equatoria State, National, News

Pursuit of wealth fuels child marriage-Minister

By Bosco Bush


Eastern Equatoria State Minister of Local Government and Law Enforcement, Peter Lokeng Lotone, has said the quest by men to have wealth is the main driving factor encouraging child marriage.

He acknowledged the ongoing issue of child marriage in the country and blamed men for being the primary factors contributing to the practice.

Speaking during a three-day State Chief Conference in Torit, Lotone stated that men are responsible for encouraging child marriage, as they often seek to obtain cattle through the marriage of their underage daughters.

“For us men, we need our daughters to bring us cattle. But a woman doesn’t want cattle because she doesn’t have a relationship with them. That’s why when a woman is trying to stop her daughter from being traded off, a man will disagree. Thus, causing domestic violence. Men are the problem to their children,” the minister said.

Despite the existence of the Child Act of 2008, which sets the minimum age of marriage for girls at 18 years old, the practice of child marriage continues in many parts of South Sudan due to factors such as poverty, cultural practices, and a lack of enforcement of the law.

Lotone has called for the collection of firearms from the hands of civilians to foster the smooth implementation of the relevant laws.

He stated, “We are praying hard for the complete collection of guns from people who own them illegally so that we can be able to smoothly implement these laws.”

The South Sudan Child Act of 2008, Section 193, Subsections (1) and (2), provides for the establishment and functions of an Independent Child Commission with the ability to investigate complaints made by any person on child rights violations and to express opinions or present advice to government organs on any issue related to children’s rights.

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