Mary Akuot Agany, a minor who was deliberately blinded by her father, in Abiook Village in Tonj East County, Warrap State, has been airlifted to Juba for specialized treatment by a businesswoman.
Agany Kut Achuil allegedly took his daughter to a forest on 2 April and pricked her eyes because she was wayward, joined the wrong groups, eloped when she was 13, and brought shame to the family.
Speaking to journalists at the Juba International Airport upon arrival from Wau Airport on Wednesday, Sarah Enoka, the businesswoman who has been facilitating Akuot’s treatment condemned her father’s actions and urged the government to bring the latter to book.
“What happened to Akuot should not be allowed to happen to anybody’s child,” she said. “We have laws in this country and if anyone takes the law into his hands that is wrong.”
Enoka urged the government and NGOs to take the lead in treating the girl and protecting the people against such crimes.
“We call on the government and NGOs to support us in treating Akuot. It is our collective responsibility,” she implored. “The government should also make sure the person responsible should be brought to book as an example. Because after Akuot who is next?”
For his part, Police Spokesperson Gen. Daniel Justin said they have so far completed investigations into the matter and very soon the alleged perpetrator will be arraigned in court in either Tonj or Wau. He said the girl’s father is in police custody in Tonj in Warrap State momentarily.
Gen. Justine decried a rise in gender-based and domestic violence across the country and called on mothers and children to report cases to the police.
“This gender-based violence has become an issue these days so we are appealing to the public to please treat their children well and also for the mothers and children themselves whenever there is a case, to report it to the police,” he advised. “They should not shy from reporting a case against your father or mother.”
Meanwhile, Mathew Mathiang Magordit, the chairman of the Luacjang Community attributed the blinding of Akuot to a misunderstanding between the girl and her father.
“What happened was a family misunderstanding between the girl and her father but the father did not understand his daughter and he injured both eyes and this is not right,” he said. “If you have an issue with your daughter, sit with your brothers to settle such disputes.”