AFRICA/UGANDA - Religious leaders unite in the fight against female genital mutilation

Monday, 11 July 2011

Bukwo (Fides Service) - Some Churches in the Ugandan districts of Kapchorwa and Bukwo, have formed an alliance with local NGOs Inter African Committee Uganda (IACU) and the Reproductive, Educative Community Health (REACH) to combat female genital mutilation (FGM) in Sebei and Pokot regions. The pastor Francis Sawenge Kotil of the liberation church in the Bukwo district, admitted that the blood lost during this practice is a curse, but now, with the support of Churches, progress in eliminating FGM will be made. The Programme Coordinator of IACU in Sebei believes that the fight against the practice of FGM in Sebei will have a positive outcome because the Churches have openly declared that they want to join to fight it. "So far we have wasted time trying to eradicate it, because we were not fully supported by the Churches, but since the religious leaders have joined us, we can finally win", said a statement released by CISA Agency. The director of the REACH program in Kapchorwa said that it will take time to abolish it completely in Kapchorwa and Pokot, as it is still carried out in nearby Kenya, where many parents take their daughters in secret to undergo this torture and then return home. She has also turned to the Kenyan Government in order to stop any culprits who cross Kenya. According to statistics, the girls mutilated in 2011 are 820 compared to 550 recorded in 2008, confirming the fact that the practice is still carried out despite it being banned in 2010. The culprits risk 10 years in prison, but in case the girl dies as a result of this cruel act they are sentenced to death. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 11/07/2011)