A 19-year old girl of Sudanese origin was on Sunday deported by Kenyan authorities just a few days after landing at JKIA.
Rebecca Aluel Garang was on the run after learning her parents had struck a deal to marry her off to a rich old man who already has three wives.
According to the Standard, Aluel was not interested in marrying the rich old man who is reportedly said to be influential in the South Sudanese government. Besides, she was already engaged to her lover, Deng Abiem Deng, a Sudanese national who works in Australia as a doctor.
Deng is said to have returned to his home country where he met Aluel’s parents and paid the bride price of 150 cows. He promised to return soon and make wedding arrangements.
A while later; the old man approached his parents and struck an arrangement with his parents. “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,” a family member said.
Upon learning this, Aluel contacted her fiancé, Deng who was in Australia and he sent her air fare to fly to Nairobi and put up with some of his relatives who live in Embakasi.
Deng thought her stay with his relatives in Nairobi was a good move as she would be safe until he returned from Australia.
However, his biggest undoing was informing her parents that she was in Embakasi. “The fiancé informed Aluel’s parents that she was in Nairobi, so that they would not be worried.”
The rich old man then obtained an executive order and an Interpol warrant of arrest which would see Aluel returned to Juba.
And on Saturday evening six Interpol officers took her feom the Embakasi residence accusing Deng’s relatives of kidnapping her.
“They told me they are detaining me for being kidnapped,” Aluel narrated to Metropolitan.
Her relatives said Aluel’s father was colluding with the rich old man and her mother was opposed to this because she had asked them to take care of her.
“Aluel’s mother pleaded with us not to allow her to return to Juba but it seems her father is colluding with the old man and Interpol, because he was with the Interpol.”
Kenyan lawyer Harun Ndubi had tried to stop her deportation but it was futile because this was an Interpol case.
But, Ndubi said there could still be some hope for Aluel. “I will liaise with the family to see what we can do.”
Her relative and her fiancée fear that she may be punished for running away from marriage as is tradition in South Sudan.
“We fear that she might harm herself rather than marry the old man, or she might be whipped to death because that is usually the punishment for running away from marriage,” said her relatives.