Authorities in Yei ban late night discos

Health & HIV/AIDS
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[Yei, South Sudan, TCT] Authorities in Central Equatoria State’s Yei municipality have banned late night discos between the hours of 8:00 pm and 06:00 am daily.

According to the new policy, disco clubs, lodges, restaurants and hotels that remain open during the mentioned hours of operation will face fines of 3,000 South Sudanese pounds and a month’s imprisonment of disco managers. Municipal deputy mayor Silvano Ali Sanguson issued the local order, in effect since September 11 of this year.

The chamber of commerce has not yet met businesspersons dealing in hotels, lodges and night clubs over the provisional order, according to an official from the chamber.

However, members of the civil society have stressed the need for the authority to extend the starting time to 11:00 pm so that businesspeople are safeguarded. They believe that 8:00 pm is too early for the business community, as well as citizens wanting refreshment in the cosmopolitan town.

“As civil society, I would say that 8:00 pm is really too early, given the fact that Yei is a growing town and sometimes people returning from work would like refreshing. I would really ask that if they can extend like to 10:00 pm, that would be justifiable,” said Mawa George Lazarus, the forum of civil society group’s deputy chairperson.

“There are people who are really depending on that, they are working there and some of these places have created employment opportunities”, he said.

Earlier on, the local authority banned underage children from working in hotels, lodges and nightclubs discos to discourage prostitution and prevent the spread of HIV. As part of implementing that order, they arrested 45 commercial sex workers including 27 women and 18 men. Those arrested were mostly under 18 years old.

South Sudan has a national HIV prevalence of 2.6 percent according to the 2012 antenatal care (ANC) sentinel surveillance. The survey indicates that the Western Equatoria State has the highest prevalence of 6.8 percent while Northern Bahr El-Ghazal State with the lowest rate of 0.3 percent.

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