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Djibouti ratifies the Maputo Protocol against the practice. Conference in Djibouti affirms Koran says nothing about it

Djibouti, 2- 3 February - At the closing ceremony of the Sub-regional conference organized by the Djibouti Government and No Peace Without Justice on Female Genital Mutilations (FGM), Djibouti Prime Minister, Dileita Mohamed Dileita, announced the ratification of the Maputo protocol, which bans FGM. With this decision, the Country, where 98% of women have suffered the practice, takes on a leadership role in the struggle against FGM in the region. Important deliberations occurred on the question of the relationship between Islam and FGM; in fact, following a "revolt" led by the women present at the gathering, during the final plenary where working groups' documents where supposed to be presented, Minister of Cult Mogueh Dirir Samatar, withdrew a text that justified FGM making specific references to the Koran.

After an intense, and at time heated, debate, which involved governments representatives from the region, religious leaders and members of civic organizations, the "Djibouti Declaration" was adopted. The document includes several of the operative parts of the Cairo declaration on FMG of June 2003, and those of a document adopted last September in Nairobi at a Conference organized by NPWJ. The Declaration not only denounces the baseless claims that FGM are allowed by the Koran as traditional practices, but also reaffirms that no type of mutilation must, in any way, be practiced against women as it goes against the religious precepts of Islam.

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