Two girls die af­ter in­fibu­la­tion

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

FREE­TOWN — A teenage girl died af­ter un­der­go­ing a botched fe­male cir­cum­ci­sion in Sierra Leone, po­lice said on Thurs­day, just days af­ter the death of a 10-year-old girl in Guinea.

Fe­male gen­i­tal mu­ti­la­tion (FGM) is wide­spread in the neigh­bour­ing West African coun­tries, with about 90 per­cent of women in both coun­tries un­der­go­ing cir­cum­ci­sion.

Teenager Fat­mata Tu­ray died af­ter she was cir­cum­cised in an ini­ti­a­tion cer­e­mony in the vil­lage of Mabolleh in north Sierra Leone and three women in­volved, in­clud­ing the girl’s aunt, have been ar­rested, po­lice said.

“There will be an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the cir­cum­stances which led to the death of this girl,” said vice min­is­ter of so­cial af­fairs Ru­giatu Tu­ray.

The death comes just days af­ter a 10-year-old girl in Makpo­zou, a forested area in the south of Guinea, died in sim­i­lar cir­cum­stances, ac­cord­ing to the coun­try’s so­cial ac­tion min­istry.

The child died in a cir­cum­ci­sion camp for young girls, the min­istry said.

Guinea’s gov­ern­ment urged com­mu­ni­ties that prac­tise FGM to “stop sac­ri­fic­ing the girls”, and said it was com­mit­ted to the fight against the “vile prac­tice”.

Fe­male cir­cum­ci­sion is com­mon in West Africa, where it is con­sid­ered a fe­male rite of pas­sage and where prac­ti­tion­ers can earn up to $50 per girl.

Sierra Leone re­cently rat­i­fied a 2003 African Union pro­to­col that seeks to ban FGM. — AFP

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