Authorities in South Sudan’s North Western State of Tonj have issued an order banning the traditional practice that encourages facial scarification and removal of lower teeth.
The order seen by ChimpReports directed all the county commissioners in the state to carry out awareness campaigns in order to implement the new directives.
“The Tonj state government is hereby circulating to all county commissioners that traditional cutting of forehead of young boys is forbidden this year 2018. Therefore county commissioners are ordered to hurry up with the awareness and follow this with their respective community as the policy of the government. The violation of this will lead to consequence as punishment,” reads part of the order.
The removal of lower teeth and the facial marks are traditional rites of passage practiced by different communities in South Sudan.
It is mainly practiced by most tribe in South Sudan for tribal identity and beautification.
In some tribes like the Dinka and the Nuer, it is done for both boys and girls during transition to adulthood.
The State Information Minister James Ayek said the cultural practice was promoting hatred among the tribes adding that the practice was affecting lives health wise.
“It affects the individual who undergo such practices because normally thee cutting of the face affect the vein that connects the eye and as you grow on one can become blind,” he said.
He warned that any person violating the order would be arrested and fined to deter others from continuing with thee practice.