Bundo Society Women Subject Kadiatu Barrie to Torture and Threatens to Kill Alhaji Amadu Barrie, her Elder Brother
Reports from Koindu, Kailahun District, Eastern Sierra Leone, state that the Bundo Secret Society women allegedly subjected two underage girls to forceful female genital mutilation in March of 2019, and left them helpless in a secluded society bush a few miles away from the town.
Times SL Newspaper gathered that Kadiatu Barrie and her colleague, Yamakoro, were apprehended by members of the Female Bundo Society on March 25, 2019, and taken to a secluded society bush where they were forced to undergo Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Kadiatu, an orphan, on March 25, 2019, went to visit her friend, Yamakoro, where both of them were captured by the Bundo women and then taken to the society bush. She is said to have spent five days in the bush after she was forced to undergo FGM. Latest findings on her situation state that she suffered from profuse bleeding and other health complications when the Bundo women cut off her clitoris.
Whilst in the bush, she was later rescued by her elder brother, Alhaji Amadu Barrie, and one Abdulai Kabbah, who happened to be Yamakoro’s father.
FGM has been a custom and tradition in Sierra Leone for centuries. There have been a series of condemnations in recent years against the act by civil society activists and human rights organizations. The Sierra Leone Government has, over the years, been trying to stop it, but all its efforts have been frustrated and in vain because the Bundo culture has been, for centuries, very deeply rooted in Sierra Leone and the Bundo women are very powerful and influential in the society.
Times SL understands that the decision to rescue Kadiatu and her friend, Yamakoro, turned out to be a challenge between the Bundo Women and their families. Kadiatu and Alhaji have declared wanted within the Koindu Township and a search was put in place to track them down. The Bundo women threatened Alhaji, specifically, with death for going into their bush, where the initiation was held, and violating their cultural practice by re-capturing Kadiatu and Yamakoro and bringing them back to Koindu town. Times SL was told that the Bundo women burnt down Alhaji’s house in Koindu, where he had resided for many years. The women angrily burnt the house after Alhaji ran away with his sister, and the Bundo women could not find them. Times SL was further told that Kadiatu and Amadu have not returned to Koindu and Sierra Leone since they left in 2019.
As we go to Press, Kadiatu Barrie and her colleagues’ whereabouts remain unknown.
Times SL’s effort to contact members of the Bundo Women proved futile, despite so many attempts to get their side of the story. It is very difficult and almost impossible to get any information on such matters from such a secretive society, especially where the enquirer is a male, and even female members are forbidden from speaking about the matters of the society to non-initiates.