State raises red flag over smuggling of girls to Tanzania for FGM
Roy Lumbe and Maureen Mukhobe
The government has raised the red flag over the smuggling of Kenyan girls to Tanzania to undergo Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
With the circumcision season underway among communities which practice the barbaric tradition, the government has warned that hundreds of girls in Migori county are being smuggled into Tanzania to face circumcision.
Reports indicated that between December 1 and December 15, over 100 girls, some aged as young as nine years, have been illegally taken to Tanzania since the start of the Kuria tradition circumcision season.
The tradition, so far banned by the government for being retrogressive to the girls’ development, is practised by the community as a rite of passage for young females to adulthood.
Kuria West Deputy County Commissioner Andrew Mwiti confirmed that the local administration, in collaboration with the police and other non-governmental organisation partners had put in place measures to stop the illegal trafficking of the girls into the neighbouring country for the cut.
“We have also put security officers on the alert to arrest parents sending their daughters across for the illegal operation, as well as those conducting the illegal tradition secretly in Kenya,” said Mwiti.
Yesterday, security officers combed villages in Motemorabu and Borega areas on the common border with Tanzania where mass circumcisions of girls were reported to be taking place secretly.
However, no arrests were made as the culprits had already crossed over to Tanzania for temporary refuge.