FGM Kills Girl, 19

By Ayodele Deen Cole

Police officers attached to the Bombali police division have arrested three Soweis and a nurse for the death of a nineteen year old school girl.

The girl who was an SSS4 pupil of Saint Joesph Secondary School in Makeni, reportedly died during her initiation into the traditional Bondo Society that practices Female Genital Mutilation. According to the Divisional Crime Officer, Bombali Police Division, ASP Mathew Jabbie, they were informed about the incident few days ago, adding that they immediately dispatched a team of officers at the scene to ascertain the fact. He continued that as soon as the message was confirmed, he held a meeting with all the traditional and religious leaders to find ways of addressing the problem, after which the deceased remains were handed over to them for postmortem. The body is presently at the government mortuary in Makeni awaiting the postmortem examination. ASP Mathew Jabbie noted that this is the first time that such a case has been brought to the attention of the SLP, adding that upon investigation they found out that around twenty girls were initiated that day and only the decaesed reportedly lost her life. He promised to charge the matter to court if there is sufficient evidence to prosecute the Soweis and the nurse to whom the deceased was taken for first aid treatment when she started bleeding.

Presently, some human rights bodies and civil society organisations are robustly campaigning against the practice of FGM, which they consider as violation of one’s right with far reaching health implications.

The deceased, sources say, was below age nineteen.