A 16-year-old girl in Gok State was reportedly beaten to death by her brothers on New Year’s Eve after getting pregnant to a poor man before marriage.

The teenage girl’s father had purportedly arranged to marry her off to another man who had accepted to pay an unknown number of cattle as dowry-an amount of property or money brought by a bridegroom to his in-laws.

According to Mamer Nyinnypiu the deceased’s cousin brother, the girl reportedly went missing only to be found at the home of another man who had impregnated her.

“The parents happen to give the girl to another man who was ready to marry her, the girl insisted that she cannot leave the husband who impregnated her, that is what provoked her brother to fight her until she passed away,” Mamer told Eye Radio on Wednesday.

Mamer said after learning that the girl was pregnant for a man who had only two cows, her brother started beating her-causing her death.

“We have to condemn it, the girl has rights to choose any person to marry,” he said. “My people of great lakes region, we have to leave behind this issue of dowry. Life of a person is more than dowry. You cannot kill a human being because of dowry.”

The girl’s brother who allegedly beat her to death has not been arrested, according to Mamer.

It is not the first time such a case is reported in the lakes region. In April last year, a 20-year-old girl in Yirol was beaten to death for refusing to marry a man her family had selected for her.

Many families in South Sudan forcibly marry off their daughters-including girls who are under the age of 18 for dowry.

According to a 2017 UNICEF study, some 52 per cent of South Sudanese girls are married by the time they are 18.

Article 17 of South Sudan’s Transitional Constitution guarantees women and girls the right to consent to marriage.

Via Eye Radio