Articles and Analysies
Restrict Customary Blood Compensation as Means of Conflict Resolution in South Sudan BY: Beny Gideon Mabor, JUBA
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Jul 4, 2009 - 9:58:25 AM

Restrict Customary Blood Compensation as Means of Conflict Resolution in South Sudan

BY: Beny Gideon Mabor, JUBA


The customary laws in contemporary Southern Sudan ought to be revised and amended for the purposes of its constitutionality and or legality to enforce its course in Southern Sudan where the said legislation is codified as the case may be, pursuant to the application of this law within which over ninety percent of day-to-day criminal and civil cases are executed under costmary laws.

Regrettably, this legislation with its provisions of customary blood compensation as the alternative means of conflict public resolution is one of the worst matters directly or indirectly causing civil strife amongst Southern Sudanese themselves.

The customary law application in the present fragile situation in Southern Sudan has encouraged the wealthier families and clans take advantage to acts of violence with impunity since they could afford to pay Blood Compensation (Dia) usually in kind (cows) and cash (money). 

Moreover, the whole clan will take vicarious liability to easily divide and pay and the accused will not bear criminal responsibility of his or her own omissions and commissions.

Similarly, the spirit of contract killing of revenge and compensation will continue while keeping the same compensatory payment and simultaneously return them to the victim parties and countless deaths and conflicts go on.

Who is going to survive in such deadly situation if there is no possible remedy provided by the Government of Southern Sudan ?

After having ascertained the deliberate act of the wealthy offenders just to get rid of any unwanted member of the society and pay the 'dia,' it’s better for the Government of Southern Sudan to call off this blood compensatory payment and increase the Dia of unintentional killing and  other culpable homicides not amounting to murder be bloodily compensated.

But any deliberate killing should immediately be sentenced to death penalty and hanging by the neck or fire-squad if the offender (s) is a soldier which is already regulated by the existing military legislations in Southern Sudan .

In conclusion, I am appealing to the Government of Southern Sudan at all levels, and after having exhaustively examined the public opinion across the regions pertaining to the lack of appropriate customary jurisdiction in Southern Sudan, to look into this case and develop further legislations, if any of necessity, to halt violent situations.

There is no legal vacuum any more to prevent the Law Enforcement Units implement the law and order. But there has been too, a voiceless lack of competent legal and security services from these personnel as mandated by the Constitution and the Law.

Justice delayed always is justice denied and this has caused contributory negligence from civil population to take the law into their own hands and later blame the civilians for the professional failure of the institutions entrusted with the task of maintaining respect for the rule of law and the administration of justice.

Beny Gideon Mabor, (MCSE, LL.B) is an Opinion Writer living in Juba, South Sudan and can be reach at [email protected]


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