By Vision Reporter
MOROTO - In the wake of new cases of female genital mutilation (FGM) in Karamoja region, the Police have intensified operations to net the perpetrators of the vice.
A total of 13 people, including suspected FGM traditional surgeons, victims and their parents were last week rounded up in Lonyilik village, Tapac sub-county in Moroto district, charged in court and sent to jail.
They were arrested at Maya Kraal after Namuton Namon, 45, the chief surgeon in the area, allegedly mutilated seven girls aged between nine and 12 on two separate occasions between July 8 and 10.
They appeared before Moroto Chief Magistrate Moses Mutazindwa. Namon pleaded guilty to seven counts of procuring FGM and was sentenced to 10 years in jail in Moroto Prison.
The second accused, Nakong Nakuwam, was charged with coercing girls into being mutilated and jailed for three years. Others were 11 parents, including the host kraal leader, Louse Apanailon, who were charged with aiding, procuring or coercing their daughters into FGM. They were remanded till July 23, when they will re-appear in court.
Moroto district Police commander George Obia on Friday said although FGM was outlawed in 2010, the perpetrators had resumed the practice.
“It is awful, archaic, horrible and an evil practice,” he noted, adding that the Police will intensify the hunt for the perpetrators. Obia said FGM is a seasonal crime and the Police will involve the community through sensitisation and partnering with people who can help them eradicate the vice.
He appealed to the public to report any acts of FGM to the Police or other relevant authorities. FGM is the practice of cutting off a woman’s clitoris and it dates back to the 16th century.
The Tapac sub-county community development officer, Moses King, said the practice is still rife in his area, although not in all villages.
In Katikekile sub-county, FGM is rampant in Narengenyia and Kakingol parishes. “It thrives in inward-looking communities where people believe that an uncircumcised girl is a shame to the family,” King noted.
He said with support from the development partners, crossborder dialogues with teenagers will soon be commissioned. One of the chief surgeons identified only as Akudumeri, 72, is serving a two-year jail term after she circumcised 30 girls in 2012.
Moroto LC5 chairperson Mark Aol Musooka said FGM is a backward cultural practice, which must be stopped. He appealed to the Government to continue supporting the fight against the vice.
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