KENYA: Girl in Hospital After Forced Cut

A 16-year-old girl has been admitted to hospital after she was forcibly circumcised in West Pokot District.

The rite was performed early this week at Chemengwa Village in Kanyarkwat.

She developed complications and was taken to Kanyarkwat dispensary.

She was among three girls who underwent the outlawed rite. A nurse at the health centre said the girl was out of danger and could be discharged any time.

Mrs Lilian Plapan, the chairperson of Setat Women Organisation, a lobby fighting against the rite in the area, asked police to arrest and charge the culprits.

At the same time, more than 80 school going girls have been forcibly circumcised in Marakwet and Keiyo Districts in the past two weeks, two lobby groups claimed yesterday.

They said more than 50 other girls escaped the rite and had sought refugee at Arror Catholic mission in Kerio Valley.

The Centre for Human Rights and Democracy and Cheptais Women project petitioned the Provincial Administration to arrest perpetrators of the out-outlawed act. Keiyo district commissioner Peter Kinuthia promised to investigate the matter. Outgoing Marakwet East MP Linah Kilimo said some parents were taking advantage of involvement of anti-FGM crusaders in the election process to force their girls to undergo the rite.

Meanwhile, female circumcision has been cited as a major hindrance to the progress of women in the North Rift.

West Pokot DC Loyford Kibaara said the practice was a leading cause of school drop out and early marriage of girls.

The administrator ordered chiefs and their assistant to arrest parents who subjected their daughter to the rite.

The Government banned the circumcision of girls under the age of 18 in 2001.

The DC spoke when he received the regional programme officer of Ethiopia-based Inter-Africa Committee (IAC), Mrs Abebech Alemneh, who is on a tour of the North Rift to assess Government progress in the fight against the practice.


AUTHOR: Edward Koech And Barnabas Bii

URL: Click here

DATE: 09/12/2007

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