Police say most of them were participants in aiding and abetting female genital mutilation.
Sipi Regional Police spokesperson, Rogers Taitika in an interview. (Credit: Betty Amamukirori)
EASTERN UGANDA - Nineteen people have been charged before the Kapchorwa chief magistrate Teko Lokeris aiding and abetting female genital mutilation (FGM) in Kween district.
They were later remanded to Kapchorwa Government Prison until February 6.
Police say most of them were participants. The mentors and cutters are still on the run.
Sipi Region Police spokesperson Rogers Taitika confirmed that they met some resistance from locals to have the suspects released.
A source who preferred anonymity said Kween County MP Lawrance Mangusho Cherop had a bitter exchange with Police demanding that the accused, who are mainly from his village, be released immediately.
Police say they are still compiling evidence against the accused.
"This is a crime and we cannot relent to any pressures," said Taitika.
He said they are facing a lot of challenges, considering that there are many people involved in the vice - mostly done in secrecy.
Taitika said whenever they try to sensitise the people, they are told it is their culture and there is no way they can do away with it.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), FGM is a procedure that intentionally alters or causes injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.
It involves partial or total removal of the external female genitalia.
WHO notes that FGM has physical, health and psychological consequences on the women and can sometimes lead to death. In Uganda, FGM has been rampant in the districts of Kapchorwa, Bukwo, Kween, Nakapiripirit, Moroto and Amudat, with the beginning age being 12 years.
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