LIBERIA: Mother Traumatized Over her Kids Abduction for the Secret Society
The mother of two children who were kidnapped to be initiated into traditional secret societies with their private parts mutilated by members of the Sande and Poro groups has broken silence during an exclusive interview via WhatsApp.
Mrs. Laurel S. Fallah tearing yesterday, November 11, 2016 said her two children, Akeelah Fallah and Israel Fallah unknowing to her were abducted by their grandmother and taken to a traditional bush where they were to be compulsorily initiated into the Poro and Sande Societies. “If it wasn’t for God and the help of the boys, my kids would have been initiated” she lamented.
Speaking further, Mrs. Fallah disclosed that such situation compelled the children to stay out of school for weeks and spent couple of days at the hospital, as her older daughter was already in the process of getting initiated (marking/scaring of body) before the youth she had mobilized from the community stormed the bush where these kids were being kept for their initiation into this secret societies. She explained that the youths were able to rescue the children from the hands of these ‘Bush Masters’
Mrs. Fallah, former employee of the Ministry of Gender whose responsibilities among other things were advocating for the abolishment of female genital mutilation, was threatened number of times for her fearless advocacy. This Traditional Group has also caused many young girls and boys suffered from many illnesses after the mutilation of their private parts.
“I was always threatened due to my unwavering stance against the initiation of young boys and girls into these age-old and uncivilized traditions”. My life has been threatened number of times, these threats continued even after I left my home for and moved in with my elder sister.
Given the historicity of the problem, Mrs. Fallah said she had to leave Liberia with her kids and join her husband in Belgium.
Speaking to GNN, Mrs. Fallah said even though she’s amongst few parents who was able to have her kids rescued, she prays for a day where this traditional secret society can be abolished, and not only by writing papers but by the full implementation of all government actors. Sande is a secret female society while Poro is its male equivalent, both societies have a spiritual dimension.