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Ghana: Outrage over priest's marriage to 12-year-old girl – Video and photos of Saturday's event spark an outcry

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Γκανα: Οργor για τ ον γαμο ιερεα με 12χρονο κορΙτσι- ΒΙν&tau ;εο και φωτογραφiες απo την εκδorλ ωση του Σαββατου προκαλεσαν κατ ακραυγor

A powerful 63-year-old traditional priest has caused outrage in Ghana by marrying a 12-year-old girl. Nuumo Borketey Laweh Tsuru XXXIII married the child in a ceremony held on Saturday.

Responding to the criticism, community leaders said people do not understand their customs and tradition.

The legal minimum age for marriage in Ghana is 18 and marriages < /strong>of children have decreased, but continue to occur. According to the global campaign of the NGO Girls Not Brides, 19% of girls in the country are married before they turn 18 and 5% are married before their 15th birthday.

Videos and photos of Saturday's event, which was attended by dozens of community members, were widely shared on social media, sparking an outcry from many Ghanaians.

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During the ceremony, women speaking the local Ga language told the girl to dress “playfully” for her husband.

They are also heard advising her to be prepared for marital her duties and to use the perfumes bestowed upon her to enhance her sexual attractiveness to her husband.

These statements fueled outrage as they were seen as implying that the marriage was not merely ceremonial.

Critics called for the authorities to break up the marriage and investigate Tsuru. Leaders of the Nungua indigenous community, to which both the girl and the priest belong, condemned the public's opposition to the marriage, saying the criticism “stems from ignorance”.

Nii Bortey Kofi Frankwa II, a local community leader, said on Sunday that the girl's role as the priest's wife is “purely tradition and custom”.
He added that the girl started the rites to become the priest's wife before since six years, but the procedure does not interfere with her education.

 

The girl is expected to undergo a second customary ceremony to purify herself for her new role as the high priest's wife. The ceremony will also prepare her for marital responsibilities such as childbearing, local media reported.

Tsuru is a 'Gborbu Wulomo' or traditional high priest in the Nungua indigenous community in the capital Accra. As a spiritual leader, the priest is among the highest-ranking traditional leaders of the community. He performs sacrifices on behalf of the community, prays for the protection of the community, enforces cultural practices, and leads traditional ceremonies during events such as the installation of traditional chiefs.

The government authorities have yet to respond to the controversial wedding, according to the BBC. Ghanaian law recognizes customary marriages, but does not allow child marriages under the guise of culture or tradition.

*Main photo is archived

source: newsbeast.gr

Source: 24h.com.cy

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