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Africa Live: Glitch allows Ethiopia bank customers to withdraw millions - BBC News Africa Live: Bill to reverse Gambia FGM ban reaches next stage - BBC News
(32 minutes later)
Azeezat Olaoluwa Esther Ogola
BBC News, Lagos BBC News
Dozens of A bill seeking to decriminalise
people including women and children have been kidnapped in a fresh attack in Nigeria's Kaduna state. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in The Gambia has passed its latest parliamentary stage, known as the second reading.
Eyewitnesses said the gunmen attacked Kajuru Station late on Sunday night. They also raided shops and stole food. Though FGM was criminalised in The Gambia in 2015, some seeking to overturn the ban argue that it violates religious freedom and is against the country's cultural practices.
Kaduna's police spokesperson confirmed the incident The bill will now go to a committee of MPs for further consideration.
to the BBC but did not say how many people had been taken. Residents have put the figure at more than 80. Survivors of FGM and activists
This latest incident comes two days after about 15 people had hoped it would be thrown out. They said that not only did the practice cause lifelong damage but it was also against a woman's right to bodily autonomy.
were abducted in the same area. They have also argued that removing the ban on FGM would tarnish The Gambia’s human rights record.
Earlier this month, more than 280 students were taken from the town of Kuriga, also in Kaduna state. There was a heated debate in parliament but in the end 42 members voted for the bill, four voted against, while one abstained.
Last week, authorities said they would not pay a ransom for Despite the ban being in place since 2015 it was not until convictions in 2023, when several women were jailed
their release. for performing FGM, did calls to reverse the ban gain momentum.
President Bola Tinubu’s assurances that he would empower the armed forces to tackle crime have come under close scrutiny following the recent wave of abductions. According to a recent survey, 73% of women in The Gambia have undergone FGM
Red more on Nigeria's kidnap crisis: with 65% of those cut being under the age of five.
Schoolboy recounts daring escape from bandits If the bill is passed, The Gambia
would be the first country to have reversed a ban on FGM.
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