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Kenyan repatriates 32 Karamojong girls


FILE PHOTO: Karamoja girls
Busia, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Thirty two Karamojong girls and three of their infants have returned to Uganda through Busia one-stop border post following their repatriation by the Kenyan government.

The returnees who are from Napak, Nakapiripirit and Moroto districts among others in Karamoja sub-region were stranded in the streets of Kenya’s capital Nairobi. Robart Muwazi, the in-charge of Immigration at Busia one-stop border post says that their Kenyan counterparts handed over the returnees on Thursday at the border.

He says that the girls were trafficked to Kenya through the porous border. He appealed to parents and other stakeholders to ensure their children and other people use the right channels while exiting the country.

The Kenya authorities who handed over the girls to Ugandan authorities said that they have a challenge of several Ugandans especially girls in the streets of Nairobi and other cities in Kenya.  The official told URN on condition of anonymity that they are able to identify a few of the girls who report to the government offices while others continue suffering on the streets, which prompted them to return some of the girls to Uganda.

Agnes Igoye, the Deputy National Coordinator Prevention of Trafficking Persons in the internal affairs Ministry, says that many children especially girls from Karamoja are trafficked to foreign countries where they end up suffering.   Igoye says that they have plans to start community sensitization to create awareness on the dangers of human trafficking to mitigate the vice.

Molly Namirembe, the programs officer Christians collaboration organization, which received the girls, says that they will rehabilitate them at their settlement in Napak district.  She said that they will provide the girls psychosocial support to help them accept that they have returned home.

Some of the girls told URN anonymously that they were convinced to travel to Kenya by their relatives with promising job offers. Others say they fled their homes to avoid Female Genital Mutilation- FMG.  By the time of filing this story, the girls were undergoing mandatory COVID-19 testing at Busia port health before proceeding to Napak district.   `


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