13 December 2012

Kenya: Search for Secret FGM Rites Begins in Marakwet, Pokot

The government has deployed security officers in parts of Marakwet and Pokot to stop the female curcumcision of school girls. More than 500 girls have been lined up for the female circumcision ceremonies in the next two weeks.

Marakwet East DC Joseph Kisangau said police have been sent to areas where secret circumcision ceremonies have been planned. "We have given firm instructions to police officers, chiefs and DOs to stop the illegal circumcision ceremonies which are planned in secret locations," he said.

Speaking in his office in Kapsowar on Monday, Kisangau said those involved in the recent circumcision of 50 school girls in the area will be taken to court this week.

Police in Marakwet East have already arrested nine women for yesterday's circumcision of 50 girls. Four of those arrested are school girls who were to face the cut.

Thirty two of the girls, aged between six and 15, underwent the cut at Kapkobutwo, Tinyar and Kasui villages in Marakwet. Marakwet East police boss Elijah Maina said officers sent to the area after a tip-off on the impending circumcision were confronted by wailing women and hostile crowds.

Marakwet East MP Linah Kilimo, who has been fighting against FGM, said a few residents still propagate the cut. Kilimo was among the MPs who fronted for the new laws prohibiting FGM that were passed in Parliament early this year.

"We need to fight FGM at all costs. All those involved are breaking the law knowing well that FGM is illegal," Kilimo told the Star on the phone yesterday.

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