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Girl, 12, killed brutally after defying marriage

Discussion in 'Habari na Hoja mchanganyiko' started by Alai, Jul 9, 2007.

  1. Alai

    Alai Member

    Jul 9, 2007
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    By Adam Ihucha, Ngorongoro

    The recent murder of a 12-year-old Maasai girl in Ngorongoro District, which took place after rebuffing an arranged marriage, has been described as one of the most awful deaths in recent memory.

    The girl, Sooi Sadira from Soitsambu village, was killed on May 22 this year after she allegedly refused to marry a 30-year-old man in a compulsory marital arrangement.

    The planned marital union is alleged to have been spearheaded by her father, Sadira Kerembu, who stood to reap a number of cattle in the form of dowry from the potential suitor.

    Arranged marriages are a common phenomenon in Maasai culture.

    Speaking at a special day organized to remember the little Sooi, a human rights activist from Germany, Petra Birgit Mild said: ``We condemn Sooi`s murder in the strongest possible terms.``

    She called on the Maasai community to abandon some of their harmful traditional practices in a bid to respect human rights.

    ``If there is one lesson that humanity should learn from this murder, it is to harness the collective will of the society and reassess our shared responsibility. We have to condemn such acts,`` she said.

    On her part, the organizer of the special day for late Sooi, the executive director of the Arusha-based charity organization, Health Integrated Multi-Sectoral Services (HIMS), Mackrine Shao-Rumanyika said:

    ``We condemn the murder of helpless Sooi.

    The tragedy was caused by harmful traditional practices. It went against human rights` principles.``

    Rumanyika said HIMS had worked in collaboration with a local Maasai NGO in Loliondo known as KIDUPO to organize the commemoration.

    ``We are conveying a protest message against harmful traditional practices to the Maasai community,`` he said.

    The occasion was graced by Ngorongoro District Commissioner Jowika Kasunga on behalf of the Arusha Regional Commissioner, Colonel Samwel Ndomba. It was attended by over 300 people, who also held a demonstration to condemn the killing.

    Kasunga said the government joined local and international activists to denounce the murder of helpless Sooi.

    Police reports indicate that Sooi`s marriage was scheduled to take place sometime in May 2006, but prior to that, both the girl and her mother are said to have tried in vain to beg old Kerembu to at least let the girl grow up a little bit, but he allegedly silenced them with whips.

    The tearful Sooi Sadira was apparently sent to her \'husband\' to start her new role as a house wife when she was only 12 years old, a development that scared her stiff.

    The girl is reported to have spent a night at her `husband`s` house.

    Other conflicting reports indicate that the girl actually spent a few days at the man`s house, not knowing what to do and avoiding to go to bed with her suitor, who later got angry and forced her into a `rather painful act,` which she had never experienced before.

    The girl fled from her husband\'s house, shedding tears and saying that the night `ordeal` was too painful for her to bear.

    She returned to her father`s house only to be rebuked and scolded. The father ordered Sooi to either `go back` to her `husband` or face a thorough beating.

    As it happened, Sooi would rather endure her father`s beating than the painful experience she underwent as a virgin on her first marital night.

    However, the father decided to apply an even more effective measure onto her daughter.

    He reportedly summoned a team of youths, armed with flexible sticks and told them to `discipline` the girl . . .This is yet another common ritual in the area.

    The youths took the cue, tied both the girl`s arms and legs, before proceeding to whip her thoroughly with bundles of flexible, yet solid ticks known in Maasai language as njibi-njibi.` She cried and begged for mercy, but the father, who stood by watching, ordered the young men to carry on the beating.

    In the Maasai community, when an elder (Laigwanan) has ordered something to be done, nobody is supposed to oppose it.

    According to police reports, the girl`s mother just wept as she watched her daughter undergoing an extremely painful ordeal, which left the girl bleeding all over.

    Her tormentors, following orders from the girl`s father, then poured cattle urine, mixed with soda ash all over the girl`s body.

    It wasn`t clear whether this was to serve as further punishment or it was just a traditional method of healing wounds. Whatever that was, it proved to be extremely painful.

    Meanwhile, another group of young men was boiling fat-laden soup at the sideline so that when the girl had `completed` her punishment, she could drink the herbal soup and regain her lost strength. Unfortunately, poor Sooi never lived to drink the special remedial soup.

    As soon as her limbs were freed from the tight ropes, Sooi reportedly asked for drinking water. The girl simply took the first sip and passed away.

    According to Arusha Regional Police Commander Basilio Matei, the murder suspects, including Sooi`s father, Sadira Ole Karembu, are still at large, seven months down the line since helpless Sooi was brutally killed.

    SOURCE: Guardian
  2. mwanawao

    mwanawao JF-Expert Member

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