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ELECTION 2022

Girl, 10, rescued from facing knife in Kuria East

NYANZA
By Scophine Otieno | Nov 8th 2016 | 2 min read
A team of police officers stormed a compound in Kuria East on Sunday and interrupted a traditional ceremony in which the girl was to be forcefully circumcised.PHOTO: COURTESY

Quick action by police saved a 10-year-old girl from the blunt knife of a traditional circumciser.

A team of police officers stormed a compound in Kuria East on Sunday and interrupted a traditional ceremony in which the girl was to be forcefully circumcised.

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is illegal in Kenya.

Eight suspects, including the girl's parents and an executive member of the Kuria Council of Elders, were arrested in the raid.

Two elderly women who were scheduled to perform the outlawed ritual were also nabbed.

According to area OCPD Evans Wanyonyi, the operation was carried out in both Kuria East and West.

He said the police were privy to information that the community was planning to launch circumcision rituals over the December school holidays.

Mr Wanyonyi said the rescue operation began on Friday, when police arrested four elderly suspects.

"On Sunday, we were tipped about others who had rented a hut in Komomange, Kuria East, in preparation to circumcise a young girl," he said.

The OCPD, Deputy Commissioner Okiring' Ajalet and other law enforcers stormed the compound and found  assorted tools and traditional paraphernalia used in the rituals.

TRADITIONAL BREW

These included a slaughtered goat with its blood drained into a container, a bucket full of traditional brew and two blunt knives.

The goat's intestines were set separately, apparently because elders use them to determine whether the ceremony will face a good or bad omen.

According to the OCPD, the girl was taken to a rescue centre while the suspects were arraigned in court yesterday. They were denied bail pending hearing.

Wanyonyi said the operation to stop the age-old practice faced opposition from die-hard traditionalists in the region.

"Senior officers and those who have been here for a while are often pushed to join anti-FGM operations; they even cite examples of people who have died or faced misfortune because of spearheading campaigns against female circumcision," he said.

However, he vowed not to halt the operation, saying it would continue until the end of December.

The community is not expected to hold the rituals next year, largely because of the General Election, but mainly because they believe the seven in 2017 is an odd number that is a bad omen.

The Kenya Police are working with their counterparts in Tanzania to ensure that parents who sneak their girls across the border for circumcision are apprehended.

FGM is also banned in Tanzania.

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