Authorities in South Sudan’s Central Equatoria state have imposed a ban on the sale of a popular beer following several deaths linked to the consumption of a local gin.
The Royal Gin, commonly referred to as “Makuei Gin,” is reportedly highly addictive, especially among young people. Its consumption surged during the Christmas and New Year festivities, resulting in the deaths of an unspecified number of individuals.
Governor Emmanuel Adil Anthony of Central Equatoria state announced the ban on Sunday, stating, “I have banned this red beer, Royal Gin called ‘Makuei’. Nobody should sell nor drink it because it is killing many young people.” He expressed concerns about incidents where intoxicated youths harmed their mothers with machetes.
The Anglican Church in Juba has urged the governor to ensure strict enforcement of the ban.
The gin earned its moniker from Information Minister Michael Makuei in 2019, reputedly the most loquacious minister in South Sudan. Last year, the minister advocated for the prohibition of the gin and called for the closure of the factory producing it.