31 Degrees East by Don Emby


31 degrees eastEven if the current global campaign against the barbaric practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) continues at its current level of success, it will take 60 years until the total of more than 125 million women and girls now affected, is reduced by half.
Excerpt from a statement by Navi Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights; and former High Court Judge.

Four young, newly qualified doctors, set out on a celebratory safari to visit the spectacular Murchison Falls in Uganda. On a lone night drive one of the doctors discovers the body of a young girl lying in the middle of a disused track in the Murchison Falls National Park. The girl is unconscious and severely dehydrated. Using their combined medical skills and the limited medical equipment at their disposal, the small team of doctors manage to save the girl’s life. Following her recovery, they learn, through their Ranger guide acting as an interpreter, that she has run away from her home in southern Sudan to escape being forced to undergo ritual female circumcision; (better described as female genital mutilation, as there is no redundant structure within the female external genitalia which can be compared with the male foreskin).
The girl begs the party of doctors to accompany her back into southern Sudan to rescue her sister, who has been forced to undergo the procedure and for whose life she fears; knowing that the cutting of the genitals frequently leads to infection and not uncommonly, to death.
The ranger and one of the doctors (who was compelled to undergo conscription into the South African Army during the apartheid era) are trained soldiers and with the help of the other members of the party agree, against their better judgement, to carry out a military style raid deep into southern Sudan to rescue the girl victim. But all does not proceed according to their plan….
This book is more than a classic tale of heroism and adventure. It is an ode to all girls and women who have been subjected to this affront to human dignity, in the hope that it will help raise awareness of this barbaric practice.