The Somali Government announced on Wednesday 26/07/2018 that it will prosecute its first Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) case in history.
This decision was prompted by the death of Deeqa Dahir Nuur, a 10-year-old Somalian girl. Dahir died last week from complications related to FGM.
Although FGM is still legal in Somalia, Somalia’s Attorney General Ahmed Ali Dahir told journalists that the government will prosecute the case immediately.
“Prosecuting this case will not be delayed because we don’t yet have a law banning FGM … We can do it under the existing penal codes in Somalia,” Dahir said.
According to media reports, Dahir developed complications two days after her mother took her to a local cutter.
Her death has attracted worldwide condemnation on the act of FGM. Activists are also hopeful that this will bring an end to the practice of FGM in Somali.
“It is encouraging to see Somalia take a stand and prosecute those responsible for the tragic death of this 10-year-old girl. The political will demonstrated so far in this case is something to be applauded, harnessed, and exploited for the benefit of all women and girls in Somalia,” Flavia Mwangovya, Manager of Equality Now’s End Harmful Practices Program, told Global Citizen.
According to U.N data FGM still affects 98 per cent of women in Somalia, which is the highest rate in the country.
“Although there isn’t an effective FGM law in Somalia, we hope a prosecution can happen to send a signal that this extreme form of violence will no longer be tolerated. Somali girls are dying because of FGM. There is no excuse to not reduce it completely in this generation,” she added.
Mr. Ali Dahir said that a team of investigators has already been sent to the girl’s village to investigate and report on the circumstances of Dahir’s death.