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By Godfrey Olukya 5-10-2012
South Sudanese have been advised to stop getting involved in backwards cultural practices which hider development like the
fattening of youths.

The advice has been given by a British preacher, Steven Howard who is touring south Sudan with two other colleagues. During the tour, they have been converting several south Sudanese to Christianity.

With his colleagues they were shocked on learning that people in Lakes state, Yirol west county practice a culture of fattening youths so that they get ready for cattle rustling and marriage.

According to the Commissioner of Yirol West County Makur Kulang, youth fattening is a cultural practice where young boys are isolated from their homes and fed on regular and heavy diets to make them strong.

He said that although the local people claim that the practice is in preparation for the sport of wrestling, those who go through it end up becoming cattle rustlers.

The traditional practice involves each youth contributing a bull. Those who have contributed, both boys and girls, converge to eat the bulls in lengthy ceremonies in order to grow fat and gain energy.

Yirol West County Commissioner Makur Kulang, said,’ I am against the practice because it promotes violence and cattle rustling. The youth involved in this practice are many times involved in cattle raids and tribal conflicts.’

He said that in order to counter the practice, they have launched a campaign to teach the youth against fattening culture and cattle rustling.

He said,’ We have started teaching the youths about peace. We go to cattle camps and talk with youth.’

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