KENYA: 200 Marakwet Girls Forcefully Circumcised

About 200 girls between the ages of nine and 12 years had an unusually painful Christmas after they were forcibly circumcised.

Some of the girls had ran away from home in Marakwet District to escape the mutilation but were rounded up and circumcised when they went back on Christmas eve.

The coordinators of Chetestai and Setat women’s projects, which fight female genital mutilation in the area, Ms Rose Kilimo and Lilian Plapan, respectively, claimed that 105 girls were circumcised in Embobut, 55 in Kimarich, 35 in Kapen and 10 in Kowow areas.

Ms Kilimo told the Saturday Nation by phone that some of the girls should have been circumcised on December 15, but her organisation rescued 70 of them.

Chiefs blamed

“Thinking that the circumcision season was over, 35 of the girls went back for Christmas. Little did they know that they were going to be circumcised,” she said.

“It is sad that only 35 girls who decided to stay back in our Arror centre were not circumcised,” said Ms Kilimo.

Mrs Plapan blamed authorities for being behind the forced circumcision.

“Some chiefs and councillors have been known to force their girls to undergo the practice and we are really sad,” she said.

Marakwet county council vice-chairman Stephen Kapchila condemned circumcision of girls in the community, saying it was an outdated practice.

Mr Kapchila, who is also the Koibirir ward councillor, said the community should discard the practice and called for more advocacy against FGM.

District commissioner Sammy Kisangala said he was not aware of the Christmas Day circumcisions.

SOURCE: Daily Nation

AUTHOR: Peter Nge'tich

URL: Click here

DATE: 29/12/2008

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