25 August 2004

Uganda: Bagisu Flee Circumcision

Mukono — Uncircumcised Bagisu who have reached the circumcision age have fled into hiding following a heightened search for those who have refused to register voluntarily for the cultural norm (imbalu).

Local sources told The Monitor the search for the uncircumcised Bagisu, code-named "Operation Abasinde" is to raid any place and circumcise every Mugisu who has refused to go for the ritual.

One man, Mr Dan Wakyaya, 45, a resident of Ntenjeru village in Kojja sub-county was recently grabbed at his home and forcibly circumcised. The area LC1 Secretary for Defence, Mr Francis Sekiyuni, told The Monitor that Wakyaya's wife, Lukiya Namwaya, reported him to the Imbalu operatives that he was not circumcised.

He said Lukiya had produced seven children with Wakyaya, but she said she could no longer live with him without being circumcised. Sekiyuni said the LCs could not intervene in a cultural ritual. He said Lukiya told the LCs that in the Bagisu culture an uncircumcised man is considered a coward.

Wakyaya could not be reached for comment as he was still in deep pain in his bed.

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