A 15-year old victim of a kidnapping is being held by police in Wulu County in Western Lakes for failing to pay for her rescue mission.
The parents say their daughter was kidnapped by a soldier in Rumbek and taken to Wulu County since the 30 August.
The unnamed girl was studying at Mabor Ngap School in Rumbek before the incident.
Stephen Garang, the father of the girl, describes the kidnapper as a soldier under SPLA Division 6.
He says the soldier held the girl against her will for one month as his wife.
“He picked the child form school and made her his wife for one month, without information,” an angry Garang said. “After finding him, he wants to fight people.”
With help of county police, Garang was able to see her daughter again.
However, Garang says the police are demanding for payment for the rescue mission. The police are asking for 5,000 SSP, an amount he cannot raise.
“I’ve no money at my hand. I leave my daughter to the police and they will decide what to do with her because I have no money,” he added.
It’s not clear why the police are demanding money in return for the service yet they are obligated by law to enforce law and order. Efforts to reach the Wullu Police officials were not successful.
According to the South Sudan penal code 2009, whoever takes or entices any juvenile out of the keeping of the lawful guardian of such juvenile, without the consent of such guardian is said to kidnap such juvenile or person of unsound mind.
Such a person commits “an offence, and upon conviction, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years with a fine or with both”.
In some communities in South Sudan, especially Dinka customary law, it’s okay to take a girl of marriageable age by force as a wife, but one has to inform her relatives. The man does not threaten to attack potential in-laws either.