19-year-old woman commits suicide in Rumbek East County

The police in Lakes State’s Rumbek East County have confirmed that a 19-year-old woman who was not named committed suicide last weekend in Meen-Wal village.

The police in Lakes State’s Rumbek East County have confirmed that a 19-year-old woman who was not named committed suicide last weekend in Meen-Wal village.

It was the second suicide case reported in the state in two days after another young girl took her in Wulu County.

The police spokesperson in Lakes State, Maj. Elijah Mabor Makuac, told Radio Tamazuj earlier in the week that the police are investigating the matter because suicide is on the rise.

“We have recorded several cases of suicide with the most recent being a 19-year-old girl who committed a suicide in Meen-wal village in Rumbek East County and the investigation is still ongoing to identify the cause of the suicide because the cases are rising. Last week alone, two suicide cases were reported,” he said. “We have been urging our people to share their problems with friends and relatives so that they get help and not make rash decisions when they are under pressure. If you do not share your problems with other people who can help, you may get frustrated and decide to commit suicide.”

For his part, Daniel Laat Kon, a civil society activist in Lakes State, said suicide cases had gone down but are on the rise again. He revealed that three cases have been registered in the last month in Rumbek East, Wulu, and Cueibet counties, and two suicide attempts in Rumbek Town.

Laat attributed most of the suicide cases to gender-based violence.

“When parents admonish their daughters, the girl may go and commit suicide after being beaten or threatened. When we looked into these cases, they were alarming and that is why some time back we called on donors to fund awareness campaigns to check suicide,” he explained. “There are suicide cases that are coming up every year and Rumbek East County is followed by Wulu and Rumbek Central counties. The majority of people in the towns are affected by economic hardships.”

Meanwhile, Doctor Terran Madit Terran, the medical director at Rumbek State Hospital, said that suicide cases are now being heard of because they are reported to the police and in the media unlike in the past.

“Some years back you could not hear about somebody committing, whether a young girl or teenager. There are a lot of factors like maybe there was no good media coverage and people were not reporting suicide cases,” he enlightened. “Another thing is that life in general has become hard. When we talk specifically about these young girls, one of the reasons is that some of them are being forced into early marriages.”

Dr. Madit said the number of girls attending school has risen which implies they are more open-minded.

“So, due to education, they can reject forced and early marriages because they are focusing on their education. We know as a community we believe that you cannot disobey your parents so some of the girls resort to suicide as a way of escaping forced marriages,” he said.  “Another reason for suicide is depression and psychological problems and we have registered several cases. The main reason behind this is the life itself because things have become hard.”

“Some of the youth engage in bad habits like taking drugs and they end up with some psychological disturbances and end up committing suicide,” Dr. Madit added.