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SUP opposes FGM eradication

By Lincoln G. Peters

University of Liberia (UL) campus-based Vanguard Students Unification Party (SUP) says it is opposed to any attempt to eradicate the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

Addressing a press conference late Wednesday evening, 7 December 2022 on the UL Capitol Hill campus, SUP Chairman Mustaphar A. Kanneh said ‘traditional, cultural and indigenous Librarians should be assured that SUP will not sit and watch the country’s tradition be eradicated by ‘western reactionaries.’

“We want to be very emphatically clear that we don’t support the attack on the Poro and Sande Society. However, SUP is a part of [the] tradition and so we will not sit back and allow people to damage the tradition of our country,” said Chairman Kanneh.

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“We don’t support the FGM argument. Those who want to go and be mutilated should be. And those who don’t want it … should not be. It’s the issue of choice,” he added.

Contrary to the SUP chairman’s argument, there are reports that more than half of women and girls in Liberia have little choice whether or not to undergo FGM because forced mutilation is said to be a common practice.

Some reports claim that more than half of Liberian women and girls are living with the consequences of the harmful FGM practice, and many more are said to be at risk.

Despite reports of alleged forced mutilation that women, especially innocent girls undergo here, the student-based party strongly condemns those leading the efforts to eradicate the harmful traditional practice.

SUP through its chairman Mr. Kanneh vowed that the party will resist the eradication of FGM, alleging that westerners are imposing the eradication efforts on Liberians.

Kanneh said any attempt to agree with the westerners, Liberians will be damaging the traditional fabric of their society.

Kanneh said SUP is prepared to defend the country’s tradition with its last blood and sweat.

He further indicated that the eradication of FGM in the country should be based on a matter of choice, and not by force.

“Een in the democratic world of the great United States and other places, the question has always been the question of choice,” he said.

“Democracy gives us the right to choose and so let us maintain that. Therefore, FGM eradication should remain the question of choice and not a question of law,” he added. 

Additionally, Kanneh said lawmakers that are supporting the eradication FGM in society should not be given the space to represent their constituents any longer.

He accused such lawmakers of allegedly damaging the future and tradition of the country.

“For us from SUP, we have chosen tradition over democracy. We want our people to know that our tradition is at stake and the futures of our children are at risk,” said Kanneh. 

“Those that want to eradicate FGM are not doing … good, rather they are damaging the fabric of our society and we don’t support that,’’ he indicated.

NewDawn

The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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