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Seeking Fair Elections, Sierra Leone Bans FGM During Campaign Season

Sierra Leone has banned female genital mutilation (FGM) until after its March elections to stop candidates buying votes by paying for cutting ceremonies, the government said on Monday. FGM in the West African nation is widely practiced as part of girls' initiation into powerful secret societies - led by women - which wield significant political clout. The government last month banned initiations to prevent the societies from intimidating people during campaigning ahead of elections...

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