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September 19, 2018

Cops hurt trying to rescue cut girls from marriage

A knife used in women circumcision ceremony (FGM) among the Saboat in Mt Elgon Photo Godfrey Kimono
A knife used in women circumcision ceremony (FGM) among the Saboat in Mt Elgon Photo Godfrey Kimono

Security officers were injured in West Pokot while trying to rescue two girls who had undergone female genital mutilation and were set to be married off.

The team — nine armed police officers, the assistant county commissioner and Kesot sublocation assistant chief — were attacked on Monday at Chemwapit village in Sook Division.

Villagers pelted the police vehicle with stones, breaking the rear windscreen.

Sook division assistant county commissioner Bryan Njeru said police fired 10 bullets in the air to disperse the mob but they refused to disperse.

“Some police officers were injured And on the previous day the residents injured the area chief who had gone to rescue the girls and he had to retreat. The chief and the national police reservists were not armed and the residents beat them up.That’s why they came back to me for back up,” he said.

He said the girls age was not known but said it doesn’t matter becaue FGM is illegal.

“We rescue all women who are forced to undergo FGM. We were told this case involved very young girls who are supposed to be in school,” he said.

Njeru said they could not fire bullets into the crowd because it this could have triggered violence and worsened the situation.

“I’m informed the girls were later taken to Uganda.We are still investigating and will arrest the culprits,” he said.

West Pokot subcounty deputy commissioner Khaliff Abdulai said they are still pursuing the girls and their parents.

“FGM is outlawed. It’s culture whose time is passed. FGM leads to early marriages and girls are usually forced to end their education,” Abdulai said.

He urged activists, church leaders and politicians to support the security officers in educating the community about the dangers of FGM.

“It’s against the Children’s Act because it violates the fundamental rights of children. All children have a right to go to school and gto ood health. Abdulahi said.

He said FGM is rampant in remote areas across Kenya and that perpetrators do it secretly fearing arrest.

In Kenya, if a person is found guilty, he or she serves a jail term of not less than three years.

 

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