Dear Women Lawyers of South Sudan: Stop your Lawsuit against Nyalong’s Family

Posted: November 12, 2018 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Adol Makeny Dhieu, Columnists, Commentary, Contributing Writers, Junub Sudan, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

By Ms. Adol Makeny Dhieu, Sydney, Australia

Nyalong Ngong Deng Jalang, Awerial County, Lakes State

Nyalong Ngong Deng Jalang, Awerial County, Lakes State, whose bride price consist of 500 cows, 3 V8s, and over $10,000

Monday, November 12, 2018 (PW) —- What happened to Nyalong Ngong Deng Jalang in the recent times is outrageous and we are all livid by it. Many have expressed their angers, one way or the other and in different forums since the marriage became known, all through to its settlement.

I applaud and encourage your rage to go beyond press releases; but for you to continue to pursue other meaningful ways to device lasting solutions to the issue at hand. However, I viewed that a legal action against Nyalong’s family (both families and accomplices), or a suit brought solely in relation to her marriage, will serve not but rogue justice.

Here is why:

  1. Nyalong is already in her house. Suing will exert unnecessary pressure and pain, and she has already been through enough trauma.
  2. It is acknowledged that the practice is widely known as “culture” and is acceptable in all Jieng communities around the country and abroad. This is not to condone what happened or that culture cannot be reformed but rather to confront reality as it is.
  3. The practice is on foot all over the country. Big and small “auctioneers” are everywhere.  It may not involve hundreds of cows and machineries as we know a frog jumps according to its capacity, but it is happening to hundreds or even thousands of girls across the country.
  4. Most importantly, our girls are of equal value as human beings. What’s done to one, must be done to all.
  5. Suing the people involved in this marriage is like treating the symptoms and masking the pain of a malignant disease, and narrowly at that.
  6. The suit may serve as a deterrent to the “wealthy” few, but what of the average majority and the women caught up in their world?
  7. The backdrop of the problem is culture, the scene being dowry and the disease the standards and practices that amount to commercial transactions in various forms, e.g. allowing suitors to bid and the subsequent auctioning as an overt symptom and one that brought about this outcry.
  8. Point 2-5, will likely defeat your suit in framing it as “human rights violations”. You will probably not impugn and sue the thousands marrying out underage girls all over the country in the same or similar manner in the name of culture. Change will not come with a single lawsuit, as the goal here is not just to set precedent and deterrence, but lasting meaningful change to the practice and to restore the human dignity of women into eons.

I suggest that you come up with amicable recommendations that will addressed:

  1. The background of the issue (culture),
  2. The issue itself (dowry) and
  3. The standard of practice, that being the mode of dowry negotiations and settlements.

I believe seeking means to modify our culture in relation to dowry; will serve far-reaching justice for our girls. I also believe some aspects of our culture with respect to marriage, serves an important purpose in our social setting. Advocating eradication or initiating change by a lawsuit, is not a feasible option nor is it advisable. I think we can formulate ways to make it work, and benefit all parties involved, both the current beneficiaries and women themselves.

This is an exercise that should take place out of the modern legal system, out of court and into our customary system under the trees or huts where customary laws are dispensed and matters settled accordingly. It is and should be villages wide consultations exercises involving elders and judges of customary laws, led of course, by the modern day advocates in the name of your representing organization and other civil advocacy groups.

Outcomes or recommendations from the consultations can then be taken up to or by parliament to amend or create relevant laws outlawing certain practices such as “auctioning” or eliminate payment of dowry altogether.

We can call the new law, Nyalong law, if it pleases the people. Breaches of it can therefore exposed individuals concerned to prosecutions. The issue may then go international if need be.  I think we need not act emotionally and with haste to such a paramount issue. It is imperative to remain calm, collected and approach the matter with open minds.

May justice prevails and may the women of South Sudan be dignified

Yours in support of struggle,

Adol Makeny Dhieu,

Daughter of the land, Junub Sudan.

Sydney, Australia.

You can reach the author via her email: Adol Makeny <adolamckeny@gmail.com>

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made is the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël Media (PW) website. If you want to submit an opinion article, commentary or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. PaanLuel Wël Media (PW) website do reserve the right to edit or reject material before publication. Please include your full name, a short biography, email address, city and the country you are writing from.

Comments
  1. kailoor says:

    That is not expensive yet! have you ever heard of the dowry paid by King David in King Saul’s daughter Michal? 100 Philistines’ foreskins.
    These groups could have sued the president when he popularly make us hear that his government is the government of presentation and instead chock it up with Dr Riek only family leaving the rest of our families unemployed mainly our fallen heroes families.
    Allow the lucky family to enjoy the wealth in circulation, the family will also merry off more of daughters into family with that wealth, it is not like hoarded wealth in Europe’s banks by group husbands or group members themselves.
    Have a rich culture.

    Like

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