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Citizen Weekly

Saturday 27 September 2014


Police and activists on Monday stopped a wedding and whisked away the bride, saying she was underage.
They arrested three people, including the bridegroom and the girl’s father and aunt. The girl, according to the police in Garissa, was a 14-year-old at a local primary school while the would-be husband was a 22-year-old Kenyan who lives abroad. He came back just for the wedding.

The girl’s relatives said she was “ripe for marriage in accordance with Somali traditions”. The colourful event characterised with traditional Somali music was held near the Garissa Teachers College.

Womankind Kenya child rights activist Hassan Ali Ismail said it had become common for men from overseas to come “shopping” for schoolgirls, and giving their parents money.
“They use the girls and dump them, then return abroad without leaving any upkeep for the girl or her children,” he said. Garissa sub-county children officer Simon Chege said the girl had been taken to Garissa Children rescue centre.

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