JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — Five hundred cows, two luxury cars, $10,000, two bikes, a boat and a few cell phones made up the final price in a heated bidding war for a child bride in South Sudan that went viral after the auction was pointed out on Facebook. The government calls it the largest dowry ever paid in the civil war-torn country.
The highest bidder was a man three times the 17-year-old's age.
The bidding war has caused local and international outrage.
While South Sudan's government condemns the now-illegal practice of child marriage it says it can't regulate communities' cultural norms, especially in remote areas.
"You have to see it with an African eye as it's a tradition that goes back thousands of years," a government spokesman says.