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South Sudan Mother Arrested for Allegedly Killing Newborn

Western Bahr el Ghazal, South Sudan
Western Bahr el Ghazal, South Sudan

Police in South Sudan's Northern Bahar el Ghazal state have arrested a mother for allegedly beheading her newborn baby and dumping the body in a graveyard.

Achut Kon, 25, was arrested after giving birth at Aweil Hospital, allegedly killing her baby hours later, and then disposing of the body on Saturday, state police spokesperson Capt. Guot Akol told VOA's South Sudan in Focus.

Kon has been charged with infanticide and will be arraigned in court once the police investigation has been completed, he said.

“Police with their sources managed to apprehend that lady," Akol said. "According to medical examinations, it was confirmed that the child was born normally...but what happened next is now a police investigation."

Akol said Kon told police she became pregnant after being raped. Police said the alleged father of the baby has been arrested for sexual assault.

Dr. Wol Wol Akeen, director of Awiel Hospital, told South Sudan in Focus that the baby’s medical examination results were normal after birth.

Midwife Santos Lual, who helped deliver the baby at Awiel Hospital, said he did not observe any abnormalities in the baby during delivery and said all was well the last time he saw the mother and child when they were leaving the hospital.

“The child was okay and healthy," Lual said.

Kon was living at her family's home for more than a year and had left her husband following an argument, said Lual Bang, a cousin of Achut Kon.

Bang said Kon later secured a job as a cleaner at Aweil Hospital. He said Kon became pregnant but the family didn’t bother to ask the identity of the father, assuming it was her husband.