It is reported that in some parts of the country a child will sell for 20 cows – worth $7,000. (AP Photo/Sam Mednick)
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It's been almost two years since Deng Machar's three young children were abducted from his home and likely sold for cattle.While tracking child kidnappings is challenging amid the conflict and mass displacement, Edmund Yakani, executive director of the nonprofit civil society group Community Empowerment for Progress Organization, said his organization has confirmed abductions in several parts of the country.Although interclan fighting, cattle raiding and abductions are deep-seated throughout this East African country, Yakani called it a particular problem in Jonglei state, where the town of Akobo is located and where many in the Murle tribe base "their livelihood" on selling children.Children who aren't sold are kept by families without kids while girls are groomed for marriage, Akungurouth said.Over the years some organizations have tried to work with tribes, encouraging them to return the kidnapped children and halt the practice.As desperation among South Sudanese continues, however, people are skeptical that the abduction and sale of children will end.
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