Updated: Uror County adopts new customary laws
The Lou Nuer Community of Uror County in Jonglei State has adopted new customary laws to combat revenge killings and localized feuds.
The legal tools were adopted after a two-day conference at the county headquarters in Yuai town last Friday evening. About 72 participants drawn from parts of the county, including politicians, traditional chiefs, and youth and women groups attended the event.
Speaking to Radio Tamazuj shortly after the conference, Tang Chatim, the Uror County commissioner, said: “In the past, such laws existed, but with the 2013 crisis the entire social fabric was destroyed. Some of us in the government and those in opposition groups have their version of our traditional laws.”
He added: “So, we have to come together as one community to ensure that our laws are unified and meet the changing trends.”
Commissioner Chatim pointed out that the laws will help mitigate and resolve marriage disputes, revenge killings, and all forms of cattle-related incidents.
“For example, it was agreed that blood compensation will be as follows: 50 cows for a premeditated killing, 35 cows for an accidental killing, 35 cows for a woman who dies at prospective husband’s house for any reasons before the marriage is finalized, and also 35 cows for anybody who dies after two years from wounds or injuries inflicted on them by others, and 150 cows for killing a member of the organized forces to ensure that they are respected. Also, convicted cattle raiders shall be forced to return the raided animals, be fined some cows by our customary court, and jailed. While marriages without disputes shall be left to the couple’s families to address,” he said.
For his part, Top Machok Bithou, the acting county paramount chief, said they will enforce the new rules as custodians and he called on his subjects to be law-abiding, warning of penalties against violators.