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10-year-old girl dies after female genital mutilation in Sierra Leone

Marie Kamara, a primary school student in Matetie Village, died during an initiation of a secret women's society involving female genital mutilation (FGM), police told CNN.One of the initiators, Ya Naro Kargbo, has been arrested and is currently helping with the investigation Sgt. Abdulrahman Sankoh, regional media officer, told CNN. Kargbo is in storage and can not be reached for comment.Police said they were looking for other initiators and the girl's mother.Seven other surviving initiation children were handed to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health Sankoh told the parents to have their children undergo the procedure. In Sierra Leone, 90% of women aged 1 5-49 have undergone female genital mutilation, according to UNICEF. Female genital mutilation involves the change or removal of female genitals, such as clitoris or labia. The procedure can cause serious bleeding and health problems, including infections and infertility, as well as complications in childbirth. This practice is recognized internationally as a violation of human rights for girls and women, but is still widespread in Sierra Leone. READ MORE: A Brutal Exercise Went on Thousands of Girls and Women Every Year Sierra Leone's First Lady Fatima Bio recently launched the "Hands Off Our Girls" campaign focusing on early marriage and rape. Activists want it to include a ban on female genital mutilation practices in the country. "FGM kills our women and girls. We need to get enough publicity about this event to pay attention to the government," said Rugiatu Turay, founder of the Amazonian Initiative Movement,…

Marie Kamara, a primary school student in Matetie Village, died during an initiation of a secret women’s society involving female genital mutilation (FGM), police told CNN.

One of the initiators, Ya Naro Kargbo, has been arrested and is currently helping with the investigation Sgt. Abdulrahman Sankoh, regional media officer, told CNN. Kargbo is in storage and can not be reached for comment.

Police said they were looking for other initiators and the girl’s mother.

Seven other surviving initiation children were handed to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health

Sankoh told the parents to have their children undergo the procedure.

In Sierra Leone, 90% of women aged 1

5-49 have undergone female genital mutilation, according to UNICEF.

Female genital mutilation involves the change or removal of female genitals, such as clitoris or labia. The procedure can cause serious bleeding and health problems, including infections and infertility, as well as complications in childbirth.

This practice is recognized internationally as a violation of human rights for girls and women, but is still widespread in Sierra Leone.

READ MORE: A Brutal Exercise Went on Thousands of Girls and Women Every Year

Sierra Leone’s First Lady Fatima Bio recently launched the “Hands Off Our Girls” campaign focusing on early marriage and rape. Activists want it to include a ban on female genital mutilation practices in the country.

“FGM kills our women and girls. We need to get enough publicity about this event to pay attention to the government,” said Rugiatu Turay, founder of the Amazonian Initiative Movement, a grassroots organization working to end female genital mutilation in Sierra Leone.

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