19-year-old girl deported from Kenya to S.Sudan to marry old man
The parents forced the arrangement because the old man was richer than her fiancé
Her joy was however short-lived. On Sunday afternoon, Interpol officers took Aluel from Embakasi Police Station and took her back to South Sudan.
Aluel had experienced a relatively normal life growing up in South Sudan. The firstborn and only girl in a family of three boys, Aluel’s parents had treated her just as they did their sons, even giving her an education.
Although Aluel has not completed her education, she has reached the third year of secondary school. The peace and normalcy Aluel had known since childhood, however, disappeared last year.
It was the year Deng Abiem Deng, a Sudanese national working in Australia as a doctor, returned to South Sudan to find a wife. While on his quest, he met Aluel and the two fell in love.
Deng then approached Aluel’s parents and discussed the terms. It was agreed that the man would marry Aluel and give her parents 150 cows as bride price. After the agreement, Deng returned to Australia, as he and a delighted Aluel set on planning their wedding.
However, after Aluel’s engagement to Deng last year, a rich and older Sudanese with three wives already approached Aluel’sparents, expressing interest in marrying her, and they reached an agreement.
“It is a common practice in South Sudan. You can be engaged to someone then a rich old man shows up and your parents force you to marry him because he has more money,” notes a family member who did not want to be named, citing security fears.
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