Authorities in the Central Equatoria state of South Sudan have imposed a ban on the sale of the popular local gin known as Royal Gin, or “Makuei Gin,” after a series of deaths were reported due to its consumption. The gin is said to be highly addictive, especially among young people, and its consumption surged during the Christmas and New Year celebrations, resulting in an unspecified number of fatalities.
Governor of Central Equatoria State, Emmanuel Adil Anthony, announced the ban, 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 emphasised the dangerous consequences of intoxication, revealing incidents where intoxicated individuals harmed their own mothers with machetes. “Many young people when they get drunk, they hit their mothers with machetes,” he added.
The Anglican Church in Juba, the capital, has supported the governor’s decision and urged strict enforcement of the ban. The gin earned its nickname, “Makuei Gin,” in 2019 after Information Minister Michael Makuei, known as the most talkative minister in South Sudan. Last year, Minister Makuei called for the prohibition of the gin and the closure of the factory producing it.