Gang kills police officer who rescued girls from FGM Marakwet

Counties Crime Editor's Pick Elgeyo Marakwet

A police officer from Embobut Police Post was killed and his body partially burnt while a Catholic priest was assaulted by armed youths as they rescued girls from Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Marakwet East Sub County.

County Commander Peter Mulinge said police from Chesoi Police Station led by the OCS and a contingent of 10 General Sevice Unit (GSU) officers were on routine patrol on FGM eradication at the Embolot location, where they raided and rescued six girls whom they escorted to the Embobut police post.

According to police reports, angry youth raided the police post in a bid to get the girls who had been rescued by police after they were genitally mutilated, where they overpowered the officer who was on duty and stoned him to death before burning his body using a mattress.

The youths believed to have come from the nearby Maron Vocational Training Centre (VTC) made away with a G3 rifle and 40 rounds of ammunition.

In a related incident, a Catholic priest, Fr. Amos Kimutai of St. Kizito Catholic Church, was also injured by youths as he tried to rescue girls from FGM.

Fr. Kimutai, who was wounded on his hands as he tried to protect himself, is currently hosting at the church over 60 girls who have fled the practice and has expressed concern over his security and that of the girls.

The county commander has said that police will conduct an operation in the area today to not only arrest youth but also ensure that they repossess the stolen arms, adding that they will not allow anarchy to prevail in the area.

The Elgeyo Marakwet County Director of Gender, Joseph Amuke, has said that six more girls from Embobut who were rescued by police were admitted yesterday night at the Iten County Referral Hospital, where they are being treated for septic wounds in their genitals after being mutilated.

The director said he feared that more girls’ lives were at risk due to the unhygienic conditions under which they were living after being genitally mutilated, adding that many have failed to seek treatment for fear of being arrested.

The CEC Health Michael Kibiwott, recently appealed to the girls to seek treatment in any of the health centres, saying that though the practice has been outlawed, the department will stick to its role of saving lives.

Amuke said so far, over 140 girls have been rescued from the illegal rite, some by police, others ran away, and there are those whose parents frisked them away.

He is therefore appealing for support through the provision of basic needs like soap, food, and clothing, saying the majority ran away with only the clothes they were wearing.

He said a rescue centre established by the AIC church has been overwhelmed as it can only cater for 50 girls, adding that those at the St. Kizito Catholic Church also needed assistance as there was no prior provision for them.

The director said most of the girls were sleeping on cartons with no bedding in a place where temperatures are quite low, given that it is next to a forest.

By Alice Wanjiru

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