Is there anything more terrifying (to a guy, at least) than a pack of determined males trying to cut off part of your penis? In the Ugandan town of Mbale, where a non-coercive circumcision campaign aimed at reducing HIV transmission has metastatized into forced circumcisions, that nightmare scenario is a reality.
Today, international affairs magazine The Africa Report describes the scene of a naked man fleeing 50 men attempting to forcibly circumcise him. "Only identified as Deo, the man sought sanctuary ... as the men and a local scalpel-wielding surgeon gave chase," reports Godfrey Olukya. In the last two days, more than 40 men have been subjected to forced circumcision in the town due to a disturbing mix of cultural and science-based values. The men who fell prey to the forced circumcision campaign were targeted because their wives or girlfriends were part of the Bamasaba tribe, which prescribes circumcision to all males from the age of 15. "We are helping those who feared getting circumcised through cultural processes," said program leader Badru Wasike, who told Africa Report that it was a cultural and health exercise. "We are aware that circumcised men do not easily get infected with HIV/AIDS. Since they love our relatives we want them to be safe."