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Cows-for-Bride Inflation Spurs Cattle Theft in South Sudan

Emmanuel Gambiri said an educated wife in his cattle-herding Mundari tribe in South Sudan costs 50 cows, 60 goats and 30,000 Sudanese pounds ($12,000) in cash.

At that price, some men who otherwise can’t afford a bride turn to stealing livestock in order to buy a wife and gain status, said Gambiri, citing a friend who is now a cattle rustler. A surge in “bride price” has fueled cattle raids in which more than 2,000 people are killed each year.