A Facebook post suggest a 16-year-old girl from South Sudan was put up for auction for marriage and given to the highest bidder who allegedly offered 530 cows, three V8 cars and $10,000.

A 16-year-old girl reportedly Nyalong Ngong Deng Jalang is seen in this picture. It is unclear who the man pictured standing next to her is.
A 16-year-old girl reportedly Nyalong Ngong Deng Jalang is seen in this picture. It is unclear who the man pictured standing next to her is. (Facebook/ Deng Malek Agei)

Nyalong Ngong Deng Jalang is a 16-year-old girl from South Sudan's Awerial country in Lakes State. But she is not just another ordinary girl. She has been auctioned online for marriage, social media posts and online reports suggest.

In one photograph posted on Facebook, she is standing next to a much older man and the text suggests five men were in competition to marry her.

Radio Tamazuj reported that one of the bidders was a government official.

"The kids of the winner are guaranteed for NBA slots," the post read, referring to the girl's height. However, the user appears to have since deactivated their profile. 

According to Voice of America (VOA), the auction took place on Facebook, however, this has not yet been independently verified.

This is believed to be the original post talking about the auction, however, the user profile can no longer be found.
This is believed to be the original post talking about the auction, however, the user profile can no longer be found. (Facebook/ Deing Malek Agei)

The US-based Diasporamessenger news website reports that the auction has finished and Kok Alat, the highest bidder has won. He paid 530 cows, three V8 cars and $10,000 to the father of the girl, according to social posts and media reports.

In various local media outlets, the young girl is referred to as the "virgin" and there are also Facebook comments congratulating the couple.

A screen grab from a photograph posted on the Facebook account of Sam Franklin Bamutana Jr. November 9, 2018.
A screen grab from a photograph posted on the Facebook account of Sam Franklin Bamutana Jr. November 9, 2018. (TRTWorld)

The local media coverage and Facebook comments suggest that auctioning women in South Sudan happens often and is celebrated.

Governor David Mayom Riak, deputy governor of Eastern Lakes State, expressed his disappointment to Radio Tamazuj after he lost his chance to the young girl with his offer of 250 cows.

“I know the family of Nyalong very well because we were neighbours. I promised the family to marry her since she was still young,” he said. He said he was aware of she was young but did not want to lose out to other men.

In another post, Jalang is posing with one of her future husband's other wives.

People always talk about Nyanlang ngong tall.but here is Athiek Garang Mach Aluong she's taller than her. There you go...

Posted by Lööthmangok Monicadit Atöldėėr on Monday, October 29, 2018

Underage

The legal age for marriage in South Sudan is 18. However, 52 percent of girls are married before their 18th birthday, according to Girls not Brides, which works towards ending child marriages. Many are married off "in exchange for a bride-price or other much-needed resources such as cattle," the website states.

Monica Adhiue, from South Sudan's National Alliance for Women Lawyers, condemned the auction as "shocking and sad."

"The practice is a gross human rights violation and violates the rights of a girl. It not only deprives the girl child of education and limits future opportunities in her life, but also increases the risk of violence, jeopardises her health, reduces the girl child to a property, and deprives her of the right to choose," she told VOA's South Sudan in Focus.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies