The African Platform for Human Rights and Governance (APHURG) is calling for the immediate arrest and prosecution of the Chief Zoe of Margibi County, Madam Famatta Musa for the alleged abduction, forceful initiation into the Sande Society, and subsequent mutilation of the genitalia of an 11-year-old girl (name withheld) in that county. 

According to the October 19, 2022 of FrontPage Africa Newspaper, the victim is likely to develop fistula and is in a dire medical condition as a consequence of the female genital mutilation (FGM) conducted on her.

In a release issued over the weekend and signed by the organization’s Executive Director, Atty. Bowoulo T. Kelley, APHURG believes that holding the perpetrator of this heinous violation on the child accountable, is in fulfillment of the fundamental rights and freedoms as guaranteed in the Liberian Constitution, other relevant national statutes, and International Treaties to which Liberia is a state party.

APHURG further calls on the state to fully implement the three-year ban imposed on the practice of Female Genital Mutilation in the country, of which the traditional leaders and relevant stakeholders have overwhelmingly settled to cooperate by identifying and punishing violators as a commitment toward abolishing FGM. 

The Prohibition is in consonance with Article 5(b) of the Liberian Constitution which promotes the abolition of harmful traditional cultures and practices, of which Female Genital Mutilation is vividly describe in the Maputo Protocol ratified by Liberia in 2007 that the state is under obligation to implement. 

“Violence against women and girls continue to be perpetrated unabated and especially in matters that are of traditional or cultural concern,” the release added.

APHURG demands that Madam Famatta Musa should not be shielded, rather be held accountable in keeping with the law so that it will serve as a deterrent, and exemplified the state’s commitment to curtailing violence against women and girls, by ensuring that their rights are respected and protected.

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