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December 12, 2018

Bukusus warned against forcing boys into traditional circumcision

Circumcisers drink liquor from the same pot, as part of rituals performed during circumcision, in this undated photo. /CORAZON WAFULA
Circumcisers drink liquor from the same pot, as part of rituals performed during circumcision, in this undated photo. /CORAZON WAFULA

Communities that practise traditional circumcision have been warned against forcing others to do the same.

Speaking in Kitale on Thursday, Trans Nzoia county commissioner Erastus Mbui asked chiefs to guide residents and ensure they are not forced into this style.

"Leave alone communities that have their own ways of carrying out circumcision," he said, noting that those who have shunned the rite of passage should also be respected.

"Some people prefer to stay the way they were born and don’t want to leave marks on their bodies. Don’t you know that some want to stay the way they were born? Please respect each others' traditional practices," he told a gathering.

Read: Circumcisers sanctify knives as Bukusu boys prepare for the cut

Members of the Bukusu community in Trans Nzoia are currently performing traditional circumcision.

Last week, uncircumcised men from Turkana, Teso and Luo asked the government to protect them from being forced into the cut.

They lamented that every even year, hundreds of youths from the communities are forced to undergo circumcision in disregard for their cultures.

In 2016, more than 12 men from the Turkana community were forcefully circumcised, prompting human right organisations in the county to intervene.

Peace and Justice Center Kitale (JPC) has asked the government to protect Kenyans from the practice.

Programme officer Boniface Wanyoike accused security organs of laxity when it comes to circumcision. 

He said the practice has been ongoing for decades yet nobody has been apprehended to face charges of inflicting injuries on underage boys who cannot make decisions on their own.

More on this: Non-natives flee Trans Nzoia amid fears of forced circumcision

Also read: Bukusu elders warn churches to keep off boys circumcision

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