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OVER 1000 GIRLS TO UNDERGO CIRCUMCISION

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Denzel Musumba

Denzel Musumba

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Elgeyo/Marakwet County Security officers are looking for 42 girls reported to have fled their homes due to forced circumcision in Marakwet West. At the same time, reports indicate more than a thousand girls have undergone the outlawed rite, and hundreds more are lined up for the ‘cut’ before Christmas. In Marakwet, girls aged between five and 13 from five villages in Tunyo Division reportedly fled on Wednesday night. Neighbours, who requested not to be named, told The Standard some were beaten up and denied food for shunning the practice. Some reported the matter to provincial administrators and police before they fled. Received threats "When they received threats from their parents, some reported to us and the following day, we learnt of their escape," said Chesuman chief Peter Suter. Marakwet West DC John Ondego said the Provincial Administration was on high alert. "We have warned them those perpetrating the vice would be arrested and prosecuted," said Ondego. He said they had information more than 500 girls are to be circumcised in Tunyo and Tot divisions this the weekend. And in Rift Valley, hundreds of schoolgirls have been subjected to the ‘cut’ in the past week. Ceremonies in North, South and Central Rift are held at night away from prying eyes of rights activists, Provincial Administrators and the clergy. "Several girls have been subjected to the ‘cut’ since schools closed last week and they are now recovering in seclusion," said Cheruiyot Baliach, an officials of the Natures Wisdom, a local NGO. Bomet District Maendeleo Ya Wanawake Organisation official Taplelei Rotich called for concerted efforts to end the practice. In Narok South, Transmara, Bomet and Sotik districts, there are claims some subjected to the ‘cut’ this season are married women. "The women have voluntarily undergone the cut with full knowledge of their husbands," said Mr Elijah Kipkirui, a social worker.

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