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Bride kidnapping is not specifically outlawed in Rwanda, though violent abductions are punishable as rape.According to a criminal justice official, bride kidnappers are virtually never tried in court: "When we hear about abduction, we hunt down the kidnappers and arrest them and sometimes the husband, too.

However, even when the practice is against the law, judicial enforcement remains lax in some areas, such as Moldova, Kyrgyzstan and Chechnya.But we're forced to let them all go several days later," says an official at the criminal investigation department in Nyagatare, the capital of Umutara." Bride kidnapping is prevalent in many regions of Ethiopia.According to surveys conducted in 2003 by the National Committee on Traditional Practices in Ethiopia, the custom's prevalence rate was estimated at 69 percent nationally, and highest in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and People's Region at 92 percent.In some modern cases, the couple collude together to elope under the guise of a bride kidnapping, presenting their parents with a fait accompli.In most cases, however, the men who resort to capturing a wife are often of lower social status, because of poverty, disease, poor character or criminality.

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