Nigeria: Addressing the escalating ritual killings challenge

Everyday I see new reports of ritual killings in Nigeria – locally called ‘money rituals’ – and although I haven’t stopped presenting these articles here, on this site, I have been forced to limit reporting on these barbaric and cruel crimes due to their overwhelming number. Unfortunately, there are many more African countries where ambitious, unscrupulous and criminal people commit the same repulsive crimes and governments fail to act effectively, as is the case in Nigeria.

Nevertheless the foregoing, I wish to draw the readers’ attention to the article below, a Nigerian plea to address the escalating wave of ritual killings terrorizing Africa’s most populated country, divided in 36 states.

Let the article speak for itself. The reader may find useful background reading in my February 13 2022 posting whereas I also wish to remind the reader that on February 9 of this year, the House of Representatives asked the Federal Government to declare state of emergency on ritual killings, signaling the urgency and spread of the problem.
(webmaster FVDK)

Addressing the escalating ritual killings challenge

Published: July 25, 2022
By: Business hallmark – Hallmark News

From all available indications, the killing of humans in Nigeria for ritual purposes is escalating. And it has to be severely addressed.

In some of the more confounding instances, the alleged perpetrators are most shockingly, young people.

An obvious trigger for the disreputable behaviour from many accounts is the parlous economic state of the nation. With inflation, unemployment and the exchange rate posting very dismal statistics, millions of Nigerians are at their wits end as to how to make ends meet. And some are being lulled into the false trap of ritual killings.

Compounding the extant challenges that the average Nigerian is faced with today are the atrocious governance failings countrywide, the unbridled rate of urbanisation and the collapse of both the traditional community structure and family values.

Some others would add factors like the parlous state of public education and very importantly, the untoward practices of several disreputable traditional and religious leaders who hardly inspire a better orientation for the embattled and impressionable in the society at a moment like this.

Indeed, given the reported close synergy between ritual killing practices and traditional and spiritual related observances and leaders, this is one critical area where the searchlight must be beamed as we seek a resolution of the menace. Traditional and spiritual leaders must be put on the spot.

This is more so when the entire ritual industry complex is predicated on traditional and religious factors. Within this framework, the thinking is that when the traditional ‘medicine man’ administers an appropriate mix of fitting incantations and sacrifices, the end result is that a mystical power transfer of sorts can then be effected in which the human sacrifice is then accepted by the superintending spiritual forces who then sign off on the efficacy and acceptability of the sacrifice and thereafter dispense the requested security, material or other similarly incredulous favours to the beneficiaries.

Alarmed by the rising incidence of the nefarious practice, the Federal House of Representatives had in February this year tasked the executive ‘to declare a state of emergency on the rising incidence.’ This was via a motion that was sponsored by its Deputy Minority Leader Toby Okechukwu.

In the same breath, the lawmakers requested Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, to “take urgent steps to increase surveillance and intelligence gathering with a view to apprehending and prosecuting all perpetrators of ritual killings in Nigeria.” 

And establishing a cultural nexus to the challenge, the lawmakers equally urged that the National Orientation Agency (NOA) “initiate a campaign towards changing the situation in the country.”

Five months after these resolutions were seemingly passed and carried, there is no let in the rate of incidence as regards the killing for rituals challenge.

Underscoring the depth of the challenge is the fact that pontificating political actors are not innocent of the practice. Indeed, some are minded to believe that they are indeed the prime enablers of the gory ring of shame.

Now and again, the airwaves are littered with news reports and revelations linking political players with acts of ritual. Whether in the Okija shrine incidents earlier in the current democratic disposition where a then serving governor openly confessed to having been taken to a shrine to swear an oath of allegiance to a godfather; or in the Otokoto saga that wracked the Imo State capital, Owerri; or even the Baddoo incidents in Ikorodu, Lagos State, political players have been implicated now and again.

Beyond the immediate precincts of politics is the fact that many of our supposed elite role models also get to be fingered from time to time as being somewhat involved in the ring. At the moment for example, a very notable and high profile tertiary education complex proprietor is being tried on account of the mysterious death of a lodger in his hotel premises.

With clearly both the high and mighty being implicated in the challenge and with many members of the public increasingly being led to believe that you really cannot make good progress in today’s Nigeria without getting involved with shady and nefarious underground groups that are associated with ritual killings and related vices, it is really a herculean task addressing the cankerworm.

An expanded part of the challenge is even more deeply historical. We refer to a time in the distant past when different communities were engaged in acts of war and where, it is believed that the prevalent spiritual environment back then tended to accommodate human ritual killings under certain communally defined conditions. While in the modern social environment this has since been formally outlawed, very clearly some rogue practitioners continue to find ways around its outlawing.

This situation has also not been helped by the continued prevalence of traditional and modernist cult groups that many a time have been widely believed to be associated with ritual killings. While one or more of such groups now and again comes out to the public domain to swear their non-involvement with ritual killings, the deeper fact remains that the tar on the entire sub-set remains. And then you have the yahoo yahoo plus segment of the irascible internet fraud ring.

In the view of the newspaper, what is needed is a firm will to act, to enforce the laws and vigorously drive a campaign to wean our people off the accursed path of ritual killing. And while we are at it, can our leaders all commit to simply going back to the basics and doing very simple things to raise the governance bar? Half of the crisis would be addressed in that way.

Teens arrested in Abeokuta, Ogun State over murder of a teenager girl
Click here for more postings on ritual murders in Ogun State

Source: Addressing the escalating ritual killings challenge

Uganda sees spike in human sacrifices

Below follows a shocking account from Uganda. It is not the first time on this site that human sacrifices, ritual murders and ritualistic activities are being reported from this East African country.

The reported steep increase in the number of (reported and/or discovered!) human sacrifices is indeed extremely worrisome, the more so that we may assume that the discovered or reported cases of ritual killing are only the tip of an iceberg.

It’s a horrifying reality that mainly children are victim of these crimes which are above all based on superstition and (partly) caused by poverty. Partly caused, because according to reports not only poor people resort to human sacrifices to increase their well-being. Also (rich) businessmen do, as the 2014 case of the business tycoon Kato Kajubi demonstrates (see my posting dated May 7, 2021).

Whereas in 2019 22 ritualistic murders were recorded, this number rose to 45 in 2020, and to 65 last year (2021), resulting in the sad total figure of 132 human sacrifices which have been recorded.

Ritual killings must stop!
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‘A big problem’: Uganda sees spike in human sacrifice incidents

Most victims of the sacrifices are children, apparently because they are easier to abduct and seen as “pure” and so of “higher ritual value”. (AA Archive)

Published: July 3, 2022
By: TRT News

Authorities say human sacrifices take place at advice of ‘witch doctors’ in superstition-hit rural areas to bring good luck.

Human sacrifices continue unabated in the remote and rural areas of the landlocked East African country of Uganda despite authorities enacting tough laws and threatening death sentences.

According to officials, 132 incidents of human sacrifices have been recorded in the last three years. The numbers have spiked from 22 sacrifices in 2019, 45 in 2020 and 65 in 2021.

Most victims of such “ritual sacrifices” are children, apparently because they are easier to abduct and seen as “pure” and so of “higher ritual value”.

Anadolu Agency quoted authorities as saying on Sunday that the sacrifices are being carried out by witch doctors or local traditional healers, dotting rural areas.

Admitting that human sacrifice is a big problem, Lucas Oweyesigire, the police spokesman for the Kampala region, said most such practices take place in rural areas.

The so-called leader of traditional healing and witch doctors, Mama Fina, has also condemned human sacrifice and described those recommending the sacrifice of human beings as “fake”.

Taking advice from witch doctors

Police spokesman Fred Enanga said only last month they “arrested a man identified as Musilimu Mbwire on suspicion of killing his two sons in human sacrifice.”

According to preliminary investigations, a rich man had paid Mbwire money and convinced him to sacrifice his two sons at the instructions of a witch doctor.

Superstitions lead people in rural areas to seek help from witch doctors, who in turn offer weird prescriptions, including human sacrifices to turn around their luck.

A more worrisome part of the superstition is to undertake human sacrifice to put the body at the foundation of a building to bring good luck.

Timothy Mukasa, a local leader in Kampala’s suburb of Kireka, said many multi-storey buildings in the town have been built on a human body.

“The witch doctors tell owners to put a human body at the foundation of the construction of the buildings,” he said.

In 2014, authorities apprehended and later sentenced a tycoon Kato Kajubi for sacrificing a child and then putting his body in the foundation of a building that he was about to construct.

David Musenze, a journalist who studied psychology, said there are not many qualified counsellors to attend to psychological and mental issues of people, which makes them take advice from witch doctors.

“People go to witch doctors to help them get jobs, be promoted at jobs, or kill their enemies, along with many other problems,” he said.

Source: ‘A big problem’: Uganda sees spike in human sacrifice incidents

Ghana: Eastern Regional Security Council disclaims video on alleged ritual murder

This morning my attention was drawn by a weird news item: reportedly, a video was circulating on social media in Ghana showing some men killing people for rituals at a hideout purported to be in or around the Eastern Regional capital, Koforidua. True or untrue? Too often I find the reality hard to believe and am skeptical about the (alleged) facts and rumors. Justified or not justified?

According to the official website of the Eastern Regional Co-ordinating Council, the Eastern Region (19,323 square kilometres or 8.1% of the total land area of Ghana) is the sixth largest region of this West African country and with a population of 2.6 million people it houses 11% of Ghana’s population, making it the third most populous region, after the Ashanti and Greater Accra. The Ghana Tourism Authority tells us that the Eastern Region of Ghana is a rich blend of dramatic landscape, historical relics and traditional cultures. 

This is exactly what the article presented below is all about, traditional culture. The content of the alleged video has been linked to the just ended burial rites of the late Omanhene of New Juaben Traditional Area, Daasebre Oti Boateng and the Queen Mother, Nana Yaa Daani II. The linkage of the video to the funeral results from a directive issued on the night of May 16 by the New Juaben Traditional Council for residents to stay indoors.

The Eastern Regional Minister, Seth Acheampong qualified the reported link between the video and the just ended burial rites as false and advised residents to treat these reports with contempt. He clarified that the announcement by the New Juaben Traditional Council was in line with customs and traditions, and to pay respect to the late Omanhene of the area.

We must take the Eastern Regional Security Council’s statement serious. However, it is important to note that the public is quick with associating traditional events such as burial rites with ritualistic practices including human sacrifices. The fact that these associations are the result of imagination and traditional beliefs is telling.

Besides, the Eastern Regional Minister emphasized that the viral video of a syndicate harvesting human parts is not from the Eastern Region. As is referred to in the tv broadcast covering this news, ritual murders are not an unknown phenomenon in this part of Ghana.
(webmaster FVDK)

Screenshot from tv reporting on the alleged ritual murder in the Eastern Region – to view click here
Warning: some readers may find this story disturbing

Eastern Regional Security Council disclaims video on alleged ritual murder

Eastern Regional Minister Seth Kwame Acheampong

Published: May 20, 2022
By: My Joy Online, Ghana

The Eastern Regional Security Council has refuted claims that the alleged ritual murder, captured on a video circulating on social media, occurred in the region.

According to the Eastern Regional Minister, Seth Acheampong, the assertions are false and must be treated with contempt.

In a statement signed by Mr. Acheampong, he noted that the entire report and video do not reflect the truth.

“The entire report and video with an unknown source being circulated on the social media purported to have happened in Koforidua in the Eastern Region is totally false and must be treated with the contempt that it deserves,” the statement emphasised.

Eastern Regional Security Council disclaims video on alleged ritual murder
A copy of the statement from the Eastern Regional Minister

A video circulating on social media shows some men killing people for rituals at a hideout purported to be in or around the Eastern Regional capital, Koforidua.

The content of the video has also been linked to the just ended burial rites of the late Omanhene of New Juaben Traditional Area, Daasebre Oti Boateng and the Queen Mother, Nana Yaa Daani II.

Eastern Regional Security Council disclaims video on alleged ritual murder
Shot from the alleged ritual murder video

The linkage of the video to the funeral, results from a directive issued on the night of May 16, by the New Juaben Traditional Council for residents to stay indoors.

But the statement from the Eastern Regional Minister, clarified that the announcement was in line with customs and traditions; and to pay respect to the late Omanhene of the area.

The Regional Minister further explained that adequate security personnel were deployed at the funeral grounds, in and around Koforidua during the funeral rites, and that such an incident could not have happened.

He noted that the region is peaceful and safe. He further assured residents that “security agencies shall continue to work hard to ensure safety, peace and security in the region”.

Source: Eastern Regional Security Council disclaims video on alleged ritual murder

Also see: Alleged ritual murder linked to Daasebre Oti Boateng’s burial rites is false – REGSEC

Human sacrifices, myth or reality? – A viewpoint

On November 22, Blessing Mandabva, from Zimbabwe, shared with us his view on the history of human sacrifices as well as present-day practices of this age-old ritual. His contribution was published in The Standard, a Zimbabwean Sunday newspaper. Recently, I posted other articles with African voices protesting against this phenomenon of ritualistic murders, commonly called muti murders in Southern Africa. See the Op-Ed article in the online Namibian newspaper New Era Live, entitled: ‘Ritual killings: Cry my beloved humankind’, posted on October 27, 2020 and  an older article, dating from 2011, ‘Africa: Breaking the silence in ritual killings‘, written by Fanuel Hadzizi, also from Zimbabwe and posted on November 14, 2020.

The recent turmoil in Zimbabwe, following the death of a 7-year old boy, Tawire Makore, who was murdered for muti purposes, clearly shows that the gruesome practice of human sacrifices has not disappeared. See my October 26 posting on this ritual murder that shocked Zimbabwe.  

As Blessing Mandabva describes, more people have raised their voices against muti murders including Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers Association (Zinatha) president George Kandiero who distanced his association and all members from all acts of ritual killings. George Kandieo, who also mentioned the ritual murder of Tawire Makore, confirmed what I have stated repeatedly on these pages: “These ritual killings are just a tip of the iceberg (…)“.

Also the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) has denounced ritually-motivated killings and issued the following statement: “The ZHRC has noted with concern the alarming rise and high frequency of ritually-motivated killings in Zimbabwe, specifically targeted at children and young people.

What else can I add?? Read the following contribution and join the struggle against ritualistic murders and other acts based on superstition and motivated by the greed for power and/or wealth.

Warning: the following article contains graphic details of ritual murders (webmaster FVDK).

Human sacrifices, myth or reallity?

Published: November 22, 2020
By: The Standard, Zimbabwe –  Blessing Mandabva

Since time immemorial, human beings the world over have pursued answers to the puzzling questions of their origins, sickness, death and after death, poverty, power, the meaning of natural phenomena such as earthquakes, diseases and accidents, among others. They have also inquired on how to protect themselves from such mysterious events. Invention of personified deities, gods and the occult sciences, witchcraft, divination and soothsaying in order to seek the protection of supernatural powers has been the order of the day. Individuals used them for protection from their enemies, to dominate others in societies be it in business, politics, churches and other religious circles to gain power and to accumulate wealth. Human sacrifice has been a phenomenon which has been passed from generation to generation albeit it appearing in various forms.

Human sacrifice is defined as the ritualised, devotedly motivated killing of human beings. It is a fundamental which is not endorsed by any state, but was once practiced by societies across the globe in the past. In this landlocked country of Zimbabwe, there is a misconception on many deaths of humans, children, women and albinos being attributed to human sacrificial rituals which are said to bring quick wealth and fortunes. Human sacrifice, especially of children, occurs frequently despite the government’s efforts to stop it. Times are tough in Zimbabwe, and people are looking for sacrifices to improve their fortunes. Hunger and starvation coupled with the purported economic meltdown which has been attributed to the economic sanctions by the ruling elite whilst those in the opposition blame the ruling elite for poor governance.

Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers Association (Zinatha) president George Kandiero distanced his association and all members from all heinous acts of ritual killings. 

He, however, said those ritual killings are mainly done by witches and witchdoctors. According to Kandiero, Zinatha has some specialists who could have been involved in the case of Tapiwa Makore to give guidance in finding a lasting solution. 

“It’s rather unfortunate Tapiwa is no more, but we believe the full wrath of the law will take its course. The perpetrators must be brought to book even if they are members of our associations,” said Kandiero.

”These ritual killings are just a tip of the iceberg since a lot of sacrifices in various forms are happening in the underworld. 

“Those who do such are everywhere including churches, homes and workplaces and this has to be addressed for people to live in harmony.”

Reverend John Makaniko, a United Methodist Church in Zimbabwe pastor, said: “Human sacrifice is a reality though in this contemporary world it’s now rare.

“The law has abolished human sacrifice and it’s now treated as murder.” According to him, in Christianity, only Jesus Christ was sacrificed for sins of all humanity. He becomes a sacrifice once and for all [Hebrew 10:10]. 

“Jesus Christ becomes a sacrificial lamb for salvation of all humanity. The human sacrifice done by individuals is for selfish reasons like riches and fame.
“This human sacrifice that is shedding blood of other people for selfish ends is evil, sinful and a serious crime.”

“As Christians, we are guided by the scripture’s teachings and commandments like: ‘Thou shalt not kill’ (Exodus 20:13) and our social principles say, ‘life is a sacred gift’; therefore, every human life should be treated with dignity and shouldn’t be sacrificed. 

“In short, human sacrifice is a devilish act that has no place in Christianity and progressive society.” 

Rev Makaniko added: “In contemporary society, faith in God and appreciating the dignity of hard work will result in success and prosperity.

“The core values of the United Methodist Church clearly state that, ‘we do good, do no harm and stay in love with God’; thus human sacrifice isn’t good because it brings harm to other people and breaks relationships with God.”

According to some South African media reports, body parts can be sold for as little as
R3 000 in that country. 

I recall vividly growing up in a township when public transport in the form of the commuter omnibuses had just been introduced. At that age, we were scared to death by the stories doing the rounds in the township of the disappearance of children. We were told how kids were being lured by strangers who promised them sweets. 

The next thing, their bodies would be found in the bushes with body parts missing. Rumours were that businesspeople were taking the children’s heads to Durban and were trading them off for taxis, kombis and grinding mills. Another unfortunate case is that of Given Flint Matapure who disappeared at Harare Exhibition Park in August 2011. The case took ages to be finalised.

Ritual killings, or human sacrifices, are committed for the purpose of taking human body parts which are said to be used to prepare charms and other traditional medicines for spiritual fortification. In some instances, ritualists and occults target vulnerable members of society such as the poor, women, children and albinos whose families often do not have the resources to demand justice. 

In some African countries there is a belief that female body parts possess supernatural powers that bring good fortune or make criminals invisible to police and other authorities. Children and young people are mostly preferred since they will be having a whole lot of life to live than the elderly. 

All the success which could have happened to them will now be transferred to the ritualist as the children continue to live in the underworld. It is time governments turned up the heat on culprits and put an end to this violation of human rights. 

Heavy sentences should be given to those who commission and carry out the ritual killings.

The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) denounced ritually-motivated killings.

“The ZHRC has noted with concern the alarming rise and high frequency of ritually-motivated killings in Zimbabwe, specifically targeted at children and young people,” the ZHRC statement read. 

“The heinous murder and mutilation of innocent people is disheartening and should be denounced in the strongest terms by our society and nation as a whole.”

ZHRC also stated that participation in ritual killings violates Sections 48 (1), the universal human right to life, of the Constitution and other sections of international agreements on rights to human life, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. 

The rights body called for a collective effort among authorities to end the ritual killings and urged police to undergo further training to adequately deal with issues of human rights violations.

In July 2015, a four-year old pupil from St Lucy Primary School in the Kombo area of Insiza district in Matabeleland South province was found dead with her lips, liver and other body parts missing in a suspected case of ritual murder. Her body was found mutilated in a pond. The incident struck fear into villagers who indicated that they suspected the child was killed for ritual purposes. They started escorting their children to and from school. 

Legislator Pupurai Togarepi has moved a motion on the proliferation of chilling incidents of murder indicating that victims of such heinous crimes are the vulnerable and unsuspecting members of society, mostly women and children. 

In another bizarre suspected ritual killing in June 2020, a 25-year-old woman, Thabelo Mazolo, had her body mutilated and stashed into a drum filled with acid in Bulawayo. Part of the body, from the waist going down, was missing while breasts and palms appeared to have been sliced off. The ritualist murder had message from a sangoma with instructions to perform on the body, it reads “you must cut yourself and spill your blood onto a mirror. Gaze into the mirror and say out loud that you are selling your soul for riches.” 

The practice of ritual killing and human sacrifice continues to take place in several African countries in contravention of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and other human rights instruments. In this 21st century, human beings are still being hunted down, mutilated, murdered or sacrificed for ritual purposes across the region. 

Several cases of kidnapping and disappearance of persons are traced to the vicious schemes and activities of ritualists. Ritualists hunt for blood and harvest human body parts to prepare charms and magical concoctions. In some cases desperate ritualists invade cemeteries and exhume dead bodies to extract body parts, said one anonymous source.

Many cases of ritual sacrifice take place in secret locations. They are largely unreported, not investigated and go unpunished. The perpetrators and their collaborators capitalise on the prevalent irrational fear of the supernatural among Africans, and the poor and corrupt policing and justice system, to get away with these egregious violations. 

Victims of ritual sacrifice are mostly minors nd vulnerable individuals who do not live to seek justice or redress or who lack the resources to seek redress if ever they survive the ordeal. 

Human sacrifice is real, it is neither fallacious, frivolous nor fiction. It is a cancer which needs urgent attention and collective efforts by all stakeholders from grassroots level before it is normalised by satanic and evil forces in our societies.

Source: Human sacrifices, myth or reality?

“Get rid of this evil”: High Court judge calls govt to ban all shrines in Uganda

Judge Margaret Mutonyi

Published: August 29, 2018
By: Ug Christian News

A High Court judge has asked government to ban shrines throughout the country, a local news daily has reported.

Judge Margaret Mutonyi while addressing hundred at an event organised by one Christian Charity and advocacy organisation, Kyampisi Childcare Ministries (KCM) said Parliament should enact a law to ban shrines in this country.

“If I had powers, I would have ordered immediate demolition of all shrines to get rid of this evil since they are semi-permanent structures where owners can easily be compensated,” she said.

Her appeal comes at a time reports on the practice of ritual killing and human sacrifice continue to make headlines in the country. This is a ruthless practice of removing body parts, blood or tissue from an individual, alive or dead. A victim that survives sacrifice is left with traumatizing consequences for the rest of their lives.

Earlier this month, Police officials confirmed the arrest of six witch doctors after five human bodies and a skull believed to be of a child were retrieved from their shrines in Kayunga District. They have been remanded on murder charges, sources said.

“We should not only look at stopping this evil of child sacrifice but look at the genesis of this problem. I work in Mukono where shrines (owners) thrive and camouflage as traditional healers while using funny things like blood. Parliament should enact a law to ban shrines in this country,” Margaret Mutonyi said, according to the Daily Monitor.

The Judge urged that shrines have no place in the modern world.

“We are faced with this brutality but those who are still alive have no body parts and are suffering even when their tormentors are punished. But with the looming amendment (in the laws), they should include psycho-socio support to victims and treatment by government,” the judge advised.

Justice Mike Chibita, the Director of Public Prosecutions according to the media outlet urged the public to join the fight against human sacrifice.

“It takes a village to raise a child, let us continue with that role and strive to protect the children,” he said.

Source: “Get rid of this evil”: High Court judge calls govt to ban all shrines in Uganda

 

Liberia’s elections, ritual killings and cannibalism (2011)

I have written extensively about Liberia’s history of ritual killings, in books, articles, and on my website ‘Liberia: Past and Present of Africa’s Oldest Republic‘, notably in the section ‘Past and Present of Ritual Killings: From Cultural Phenomenon to Political Instrument‘.

I was confronted with the phenomenon of ritualistic murders in Liberia when living in Monrovia – where I taught at the University of Liberia – and, later, in Harper, capital of Maryland County, in the second half of the 1970s. In Harper I witnessed the public execution of the Harper Seven, in 1979. They were convicted of the ritual murder of a fisherman and popular singer, Moses Tweh, and sentenced to death by hanging. The trial of the Harper Seven turned out to be Liberia’s most notorious ritual killing case.

Big shots’ were involved, such as Maryland County’s Superintendent, Daniel Anderson – son of the Chairman of Liberia’s only political party, the True Whig Party – and Allen Yancy, member of the House of Representatives for Maryland County and cousin of former Liberian president William Tubman (1944 – 1971). Reportedly, Allen Yancy had been involved in previous ritual murder cases but he was never convicted, allegedly because of Tubman’s protection.
Ritualistic killings in Liberia have been rampant, and I fear the gruesome practice has far from disappeared – as is demonstrated by the article reproduced below.

The article reproduced below summarizes well Liberia’s recent history of ritualistic murders. What used to be a cultural phenomenon – human sacrifices for the well-being of the clan or tribe – has become a political instrument, used by unscrupulous politicians and businessmen to further their interests.

I will not dwell too long here on these atrocities and outdated but persistent beliefs in supernatural powers. Readers are invited to visit my website for more details.

Last but not least, my publications on ritual murders in Liberia became the prelude to the present website on ritual killings in Africa in general. See the site’s menu, notably the section ‘Why publish this site?

Public execution by hanging of the ‘Harper Seven’, including Maryland Superintendent Daniel Anderson and Representative Allen Yancy, at dawn in Harper, Liberia on February 16, 1979. Picture taken by Fred van der Kraaij (copyrights).


Liberia’s elections, ritual killings and cannibalism

Published: August 01, 2011 · 10:52 AM UTC
By: Emily Schmall and Wade Williams

MONROVIA, Liberia — The pregnant woman was found dead in the shallows of Lake Shepherd. The fetus had been removed.

A candidate for Liberia’s Senate and a former county attorney are among those standing trial for the 2009 murder, the latest in a long history of ritual sacrifices performed for political power in Liberia.

In this case in southeastern Maryland County, prosecutors were tipped off by a witch doctor who provided a list of 18 people allegedly connected to the killing, including Fulton Yancy, the former county attorney, and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s Special Envoy and Ambassador-at-Large Dan Morias.

Vials of blood were discovered in Yancy’s home. Nine were charged with murder but were released earlier this month following a Supreme Court ruling.

Liberia will have general elections later this year and the ritual killings tend to flare up during election season, according to Jerome Verdier, former chairman of Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

”Unfortunately it happens during elections time because people are competing for political power, they don’t know God and they believe that these supernatural powers will come to them once human blood is shed,” Verdier said.

During Liberia’s two-decades-long civil war hundreds were killed for ritual purposes, the TRC discovered during its hearings.

”During our research at the TRC we found out that bloodshedding was very, very common during the conflict. People killed indiscriminately women and children believing that it would give them some power to continue fighting and that they would be protected,” said Verdier.

Liberia’s Maryland County has traditionally been the hub for the country’s ritual murders. The killings have haunted the southeastern county for decades. In recent years, however, ritual killing cases have cropped up across the country.

Verdier said some of those who confessed at the TRC hearing gave graphic accounts of ritual killings they carried out.

“People went as far as eating their opponent’s body — when such person is killed in battle they cook their body to eat, believing that the spirit, the powerful spirit of that person, will come to them and by eating them, the person’s power is completely destroyed, so there can be no reemergence in that person’s family line or their ethnic line.”

‘General Butt Naked’, a notorious warlord in Liberia’s First Civil war (1989 – 1997) testified and confessed before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that he committed numerous ritualistic murders and ate body parts of his victims.

A former warlord who calls himself General Butt Naked and who fought against former Liberian dictator Charles Taylor, confessed in 2008 to taking part in human sacrifices that included the killing of a child and “plucking out the heart, which was divided into pieces for us to eat.”

In 2005, the leader of Liberia’s transitional government, Gyude Bryant, pledged to hang anyone found guilt of ritual killing.

Dispatched to Maryland County by President Johnson Sirleaf to calm residents’ fears earlier this year, Justice Minister Christiana Tah acknowledged that “there are still lots of unresolved cases of this nature,” according to a report in the daily New Democrat.

In a case from the 1970s known as the Maryland Murders, seven people, including Fulton Yancy’s older brother Allen Yancy, a member of the House of Representatives, were hanged for killing a fisherman (see picture above). The following year Defense Minister Gray D. Allison was convicted of killing a police officer whose body was discovered on the Bong Mines railroad, apparently used in a ritual sacrifice. The government at the time displayed blood drained in gallons believed to be that of the dead man.

Dan Morias, one of those accused of the 2009 killing of a pregnant woman, is planning to run for senator in the upcoming legislative elections in October. He has maintained that the charges against him are politically motivated. He must be cleared of the charges to be eligible to run for office.

Morias is listed in the TRC report for alleged abuses committed while he served as Minister of Internal Affairs for the Charles Taylor regime. When reached by GlobalPost, Morias said he could not comment on the case as it would be “prejudicial,” but insisted that the evidence against him — namely the testimony of a witch doctor — was “weak.”

Earlier this year, President Johnson Sirleaf warned Maryland County citizens against seeking retribution for the killings with a traditional practice called “sassywood” or “trial by ordeal.”

The government insists that trial by ordeal is illegal and Johnson Sirleaf banned the practice in April 2007. Since then traditional leaders have been pleading with the government to allow them to practice the act which they believe is the only way justice can be served in cases like these.

“Sassywood” is the insertion of an accused person’s extremity into hot oil or the placing of a heated metal on a suspect’s body. If the suspect is burned then it is concluded that he or she is guilty but if there is no burn then the suspect is deemed innocent and set free. Those found guilty are killed.

The police are working to stamp out both the ritual killings and the “sassywood” practices, said George Bardue, spokesman for the Liberia National Police: “The police are doing everything possible to make sure that these things do not happen.”

Emily Schmall is a multimedia journalist now based in Monrovia, Liberia, where she serves as country director for New Narratives, a journalism mentorship project for women. Wade Williams is a New Narratives fellow and an editor at FrontPage Africa, Liberia’s most widely circulated newspaper.

Source: Liberia’s elections, ritual killings and cannibalism
GlobalPost

Wave of Ritual Killings Spark Panic in Cameroon (2013)

The two articles reproduced here date from 2013, hence the reported cases of ritual killing are no recent ones. Be that as it may, I believe they are authentic and the reported cases are genuine.
Late 2012 the population of Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon, was terrified after the disappearance of 18 young women and the subsequent discovery of their mutilated bodies. In September 2013, parliamentary elections were held in Cameroon. They were originally scheduled for July 2012, but were repeatedly postponed: February 2013, July 2013, and finally held on September 30, 2013, alongside local elections. It has never been proven that the wave of ritual killings in 2012 was linked to the planned elections, but observers of ritualistic murders in Africa point to the fact that often there is an increase in ritual killings during election campaigns. Also, as one of the articles states, ritual killings were common in Cameroon until the 1970s though more recently the number of ritualistic murders has decreased. (webmaster FVDK)

Ritual Killings: 18 Young Women Found Murdered With Brains, Eyes, Genitals Missing

Published on January 23, 2013
By: Naij.com

A series of ritual killings of young women in the West African nation of Cameroon has caused panic in the capital city Yaoundé.

Families are now refusing to let their daughters go out after a spate of gruesome killings of young girls who were abducted by the drivers of motorcycle taxis before being murdered and dismembered.

Police have found 18 mutilated bodies on the streets of the capital in the past two weeks, five of them outside a nursery school, and all are believed to be linked to occult rituals.

In some parts of the country traditional healers believe that body parts including eyes, genitals, breasts and tongues have mystical powers, with many believing they bring riches and other good fortune.  Others believe that performing a human sacrifice will bring good luck.

Ritual killings were common in Cameroon until the 1970s but as education spread, the number of murders decreased.

Now families fear the practice is coming back, with the latest wave of killings causing near-hysteria in the capital city.

This week, the sister of a 17-year-old girl whose corpse was found on Friday outside a nursery school, minus the genitals, tongue, eyes, hair and breasts, wrote to Cameroon President Paul Biya demanding action to prevent further killings.

Deborah Ngoh Tonye Epouse Mvaebeme said her sister, Michele Mbala Mvogo, a student at the government bilingual High School Yaoundé was abducted three days before her body was found outside a nursery school. She accused the city’s commonly-used motorcycle taxi drivers of facilitating the murder, and said the government had failed to do enough to protect the victims, who were from the poverty-stricken neighbourhoods of Mimboman and Biteng.

One local said: ‘The moto-taxi drivers are the assassins’ accomplices, and their targets are girls aged 16-25 who get the taxis after nightfall.  For a large sum of money, these girls are delivered to men in the suburbs who do the rest.’

The head of a Mimboman nursery school told afrik.com how she found one of the bodies outside her school.

She said: ‘It was a strong smell of rotting that drew my attention, so I decided to do a tour of the school. ‘That’s how I found, behind one classroom, a body of a young girl in an advanced state of decomposition, with her underwear placed on her feet, before my very eyes.’

Families in the neighbourhood are said to be in a state of hysteria, banning their girls from taking motorbike taxis and keeping them indoors after dark.

Communication minister Tchiroma Bakary said: ‘Ritual sacrifices with a demoniac connotation are unacceptable and intolerable, and the government will do all it can to put a stop to it.’

Ngoh Tonye, whose sister was murdered, told CNN: ‘There is laxity in the forces in ensuring security in the capital.’

The bodies of the five most recent victims were identified yesterday, according to a State security official who said most of the victims were high school students aged 15-26.

Two men have been arrested in connection with the killings but so far no charges have been brought.

The Cameroon capital, which has a population of just over two million, is in a state of distress with families staying behind locked doors as soon as darkness falls. Police warn pedestrians to walk in groups at all times and have cracked down on local bars frequented by criminals, shutting them down in the dozens. Vigilante groups of young men guard the streets at night and hunt for the killers, as the people of Yaoundé say the police are not doing enough to keep the city safe.

The new wave of gruesome killings in the capital has also seen dozens of complaints about mutilated corpses in the mortuaries of Yaoundé’s public hospitals, according to Health Minister André Mama Fouda.

Source:
Ritual Killings: 18 Young Women Found Murdered With Brains, Eyes, Genitals Missing

Yaoundé, capital of Cameroon

Related article:

Wave of Ritual Killings Spark Panic in Cameroon, Increase Safety Measures

Published: 28th February 2013, 14:15 GMT+11
By: Global Press Institute – Nakinti Nofuru

BAMENDA, CAMEROON When Sarah Ewang, 41, heard about the homicide and dismemberment of 18 young women in Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon, she cried and prayed to God to give strength to the victims families.

Ewang, a jewelry trader in Bamenda, the capital of the Northwest region, can understand the pain the girls endured during the moments before they were slain by alleged ritual killers. I came so close with ritual killers, she says. God delivered me from the hands of those evil men.

During 2005, Ewang traveled from Bamenda to Douala, the capital of the Littoral region, to buy jewelry to restock her shop. In Douala, she entered a taxi already occupied by two men, who appeared to be passengers. As they drove, another woman stopped the taxi. Moments after picking up the second woman, one of the men in the car pointed a gun at them and ordered them to keep quiet. I tried to shout, but one of the men slapped me very hard, Ewang says.

The taxi took a sharp turn off the main road and drove for more than an hour into an isolated forest. Eventually, the car stopped at a strange-looking hut, constructed of sticks, grass and old bags. I knew my life was coming to an end, Ewang says, and the next thing I thought of was my 3-months-old baby.

She says she cried out and received a second slap from the man carrying the gun, causing her to pass out. When she awoke, she discovered that they had removed her from the car. The driver and one of the men walked into the hut, but the man with the gun remained with them. She says they were ritual killers. They didnt request for anything from us, Ewang says, so they didnt look like armed robbers or thieves.

Finally, the two men emerged, along with four other men carrying cutlasses. Desperate, Ewang cried aloud in her local dialect, Bakossi. Oh my God, I will die and leave my 3-months-old daughter to who? she says she cried. Oh God, please come and help me.

Immediately after she spoke, the man with the gun walked up to her and looked her in her eyes but did not say a word, she says. He then led the other men back into the hut, where they remained for more than 45 minutes. Eventually, the man with the gun returned and asked her and the other woman to get into the car.

The men returned them to Douala and told them to walk away without causing any alarm. As they walked away, the man with the gun spoke. Go and look after your 3-months-old baby, she says that he told her in Bakossi. Extend my greetings to her. Tell her that her forest uncle sends his greetings. Your fluency in your dialect has saved your soul.

As soon as she heard the man speaking her dialect, Ewang stopped, fell to the ground and wept. She says he must have been from the same tribe as her in the Southwest region, where she is originally from. The men drove away, probably to look for the next victim, Ewang says.

Now, eight years later, news of recent killings in Yaoundé has brought fear to Ewangs home in Bamenda as she recalls her own experience.

It is an experience I will live to remember, she says, her voice breaking, and then bursts into tears. May God come to our rescue. Her youngest daughter, who was 3 months old at the time, is now 8. She uses her right hand to dry her mothers eyes. Mummy, dont cry, she says.

Since the discovery of nearly 20 young womens corpses in December and January, women in Bamenda say they will stop at nothing to ensure the safety of their daughters from ritual killers. Young women advise each other to not go out at night. Teachers report that lectures on safety tips for their pupils have intensified in their schools. Local police state that they are working to maintain peace and security for the population.

The dismembered corpses of 18 young women were discovered in Yaoundé, some hidden in bushes and one discovered by a headmistress in a primary school classroom, says Mark, a member of the Rapid Intervention Battalion in Bamenda, who declined to publish his last name for reasons of job security. The battalion is a special branch of the police force in Cameroon tasked with responding to emergency situations.

News reports also reached Bamenda that vital parts of the corpses were missing, including the womens breasts, eyes, kidneys and heart, Mark says.

A lecturer at the University of Bamenda, who requested anonymity to ensure his safety, explains that the removal of those body parts is what marks the deaths of these young women as ritual killings.

He explains that ritualists pay killers to come back with certain body parts, which the ritualists then take to witch doctors or use themselves. Ritualists are usually people seeking fame, money, or positions in government and politics.

Although there were occasional reports of ritual killing in Cameroon before, he says, they were not as large in scope or frequency as the massive killing that recently occurred in Yaoundé.

Beatrice Ngwe, a mother of four girls and one boy, lives with her family in Bamenda. Ngwe says she feels the pain of the mothers in Yaoundé who lost their daughters to ritualists.

Being a mother of four girls is not easy, she says with a heavy voice. I fear for their life all the time.

Ngwes friends daughter disappeared during 2008 after the woman sent her 9-year-old to deliver a message, Ngwe says. The girls body has not been found, leading the town to suspect she became a victim of a ritual killing.

Ngwe says she would not want to live with the guilt of being the author of any of her daughters or sons misfortune, so she is taking extra safety precautions. These days, she fears even more that they may be killed for ritual purposes.

I will die to protect my daughters, Ngwe says. If an errand is very important that it cant wait to see the light of the next day, I prefer to go on it myself.

Melanie Vishiy, 22, is a student at Trinity Computer Training Center in Bamenda. She says she fears for her life because of the news of ritual killings of young women in Yaoundé as well as of another girl during January in Nkambe, a town in the Northwest region.

Since I heard of the death of the young girls in Yaoundé and in Nkambe, I dont go out after 6 p.m., she says, shaking her head. No, I dont, not even to urinate at night. I do that in a small bucket meant for the purpose.

Vishiy had heard of incidents of ritual killings before. But she says that she didnt understand the reality of it and was never scared until news broke about the recent series of deaths.

Now, she says she has never been so scared and alert in her life. She doesnt trust any man she comes across while walking alone.

If a man is on a path with me, just two of us, I make sure I start preparing my heels for running, she says. I look at him directly into his face and try to keep a reasonable distance from him.

Vishiy advises girls to stay indoors for their safety.

I am calling on girls and women to stay close to homes, she says. I am not saying that they shouldnt go out there and have fun, but they should do it with limitation and reasoning.

Beyond the home, teachers in Bamenda are doing their part to spread the message of safety.

Sarah Koye is a teacher at Government Bilingual Primary School Group 2 in Bamenda. She says the recent killings in Yaoundé have prompted teachers to introduce safety tips to their pupils.

We ask them to always move in groups when coming to school and when going back home, Koye says.

Some teachers go as far as asking pupils to tell their parents that they should not send them on errands in the dark or on lonely roads.

The children know what is going on in the nation, she says. When she asked her students whether they had heard about the killings, some children shouted that they had watched it on the news, while others had heard about it from their parents and friends. At school, children shared safety tips that they had received at home.

Because all victims since December have been women, Koye focuses extra training on female students. Some ritual killers begin by violating the children sexually, so she has also introduced some elementary sex education and lessons on morality.

Koye helps the students understand that they are too young for sexual activities and advises them to run and scream if a man makes such advances. She asks them not to follow strange men into homes or bushes. Teachers also tell pupils not to speak with or to accept gifts from strangers on the way to and from school.

In our days, we could receive things from strangers, talk with strange people on the way, without any strings attached, she says. Today, such interactions may only lead to danger. We tell our pupils to be very careful and alert.

The students are doing their best to take the advice that they are being given in school, Koye says.

Outside of school and the home, the police is working to protect the population of Bamenda.

Ever since the ritual killing cases in Yaoundé, the commissioner of police has asked the force to be more vigilant, Mark of the Rapid Intervention Battalion says. They are to arrest and interrogate anybody walking the streets late at night.

We patrol the town all night just to make sure that nothing goes wrong, he says. We have arrested and interrogated many suspects that we find in suspicious places in the heart of the night.

Mark says the battalions lines are open to all. They have received many calls both day and night from people who find themselves in difficult situations. He says the force always goes to their rescue and doesnt spare any suspect from questioning and possible detainment.

He says the number of calls they receive and suspects they have pursued is confidential. But so far, there have been no cases of ritual killing in Bamenda.

Security has stepped up in all the towns of Cameroon, Mark says. He asks the public to trust the capabilities of the police.

We will stop at nothing to put this town under serious surveyance, he says.

Source: Wave of ritual killings spark panic in Cameroon, increase safety measures

Les Enfants d’Abord Launches Campaign to End Violence Against Children in Senegal

 

Les Enfants d’Abord Launches Campaign to End Violence Against Children in Senegal

Published: 25 April 2018

NEW ORLEANSApril 24, 2018PRLog — Non-profit organization Les Enfants d’Abord, based in New Orleans and supported by community organizers and local influencers, launches its campaign to end horrifying violence against children in the country of Senegal.

The previous four months have seen a staggering rise in kidnappings and child killings in Senegal which has cultivated an air of fear across the country. Although the direct cause of the violence is unknown, the outbreak is believed to be fueled by an increase in crime and rumors that ritualistic human sacrifice, organ harvesting, and amputation may bring luck to candidates during the political season.

Les Enfants d’Abord was founded in New Orleans with the mission of assisting in the healthy development of children in Senegal and has expanded that mission to include combating this unimaginable violence. The organization currently provides youth education and community health programs to underserved children and their families and will now provide violence prevention, safety training, and a safe haven for youth. Children are now able to play sports and games under the supervision of responsible adults who have gone through background checks – a main point of satisfaction mentioned by parents of the children.

“The recent increase in violence against children in Senegal cannot be tolerated,” said Les Enfants d’Abord President Jaryd Kase. “Our organization is working tirelessly to engage with law enforcement, policymakers, community leaders, and families so that our resources are used in the most effective way to combat this troubling increase in child-related violence.”

Les Enfants d’Abord efforts include leading a march through the streets of Thiès as well as launching an educational campaign to teach communities how to better protect their children. This includes identifying safe spaces in which children can play, encouraging stronger parental oversight, and urging community members to report anything unusual to local authorities as well as to only interfere when it is safe to do so.

The growth of the mission was prompted by no less than six cases of missing children in Dakar this year, the capital of Senegal. According to news sources, the corpses are typically found days after a child has disappeared. Mutilation of the bodies has included removal of organs such as the heart, kidney, and genitals. However, it is thought that many more cases have not been reported due to the association with individuals of high rank or status.

Les Enfants d’Abord is calling on those who wish to get involved to join the conversation, support, volunteer, and donate to their efforts to safeguard the children of Senegal. Although educational programs and safe spaces may not change preconceptions immediately, it will demonstrate the value of each child and the bright future that should be available to all children worldwide.

Senegal’s chief Catholic cleric, Archbishop Benjamin Ndiaye, condemned the killings stating, “No amount of political ambition, or the taste for riches, or any other motive justifies the taking away of innocent lives or any threat to their dignity.”

Senegal’s President Macky Sall has also condemned the killings assuring residents, “I have already given the firmest instructions [to the police] to track down these criminals, to bring them to justice.”

Les Enfants d’Abord operates in Thiès, Senegal, on Africa’s west coast, with a population of 320,000. The city is known for its livestock, tapestries, and a rich French colonial heritage that supports a vibrant arts and music scene.

The “city of the train” and the third largest city in Senegal is considered to be fertile ground for the future growth as one of the country’s hubs for education and business. Les Enfants d’Abord believes that the children of Thiès are the key to that future.

About Les Enfants d’Abord
Les Enfants d’Abord (www.enfants-dabord.org) is a non-profit organization that provides youth education and community health programs to underserved children and their families in Senegal. Les Enfants d’Abord, French for “Children First”, was founded in 2016 with the goal of creating excitement and curiosity around learning through opportunities for self-driven, experiential education that supplements public school education in order to foster critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and strong self-esteem.

President Macky Sall: “Nous allons traquer les malfaiteurs qui s’attaquent aux enfants” – March 23, 2018 (“We will deal with the criminals who attack our children”)

J’ai appris avec douleur ces rapts d’enfants suivis de meurtres. J’ai déjà donné des instructions les plus fermes” aux forces de sécurité pour “traquer ces malfaiteurs, les traduire devant la justice

Referenced Quote from Archbishop Benjamin Ndiaye: CruxNow
Archbishop condemns ritual killing of children in Senegal’

JOIN THE CAMPAIGN: www.enfants-dabord.org/enfants

Available for interviews:
Jaryd Kase
,
President, Les Enfants d’Abord
jaryd@enfants-dabord.org

Source: Les Enfants d’Abord, April 25, 2018

Archbishop condemns ritual killing of children in Senegal

Dakar Archbishop Benjamin Ndiaye

YAOUNDÉ, Cameroon – Senegal’s top Catholic cleric has condemned a series of ritualistic killings in the West African country.

This year has seen a sharp rise in child killings in Senegal – a phenomenon blamed on politicians looking for wealth and power approaching witchdoctors to perform black magic rituals.

Local media have counted at least six cases in Dakar, the capital, this year. The corpses of the victims are usually found days after they disappear-mutilated, certain parts like the genitals, the heart and the kidneys taken away.

Dakar Archbishop Benjamin Ndiaye said that “no amount of political ambition, or the taste for riches, or any other motive justifies the taking away of innocent lives or any threat to their dignity.” He was speaking to over 20,000 young people at the 33rd edition of diocesan World Youth Day.

The archbishop referred to the Prophet Jeremiah’s warning – “do not shed innocent blood” – noting that that warning made in Old Testament times is still relevant today in view of what is happening with children in Senegal. “When I think about the abduction of children, at ritual killings, I have the impression that these prophetic words are addressed directly to us today,” Ndiaye said. “No one has the right to take another’s life,” the archbishop said. “If you can’t give life, why should you have the power to take it?”

Over 90 percent of Senegal’s population professes to be Muslim, while only 5 percent are Christian, with the majority of Christians being Catholic. Despite this fact, many still practice animist rituals and almost all cities and villages have resident witch doctors.

In March, a 14-year-old girl from Khombole College, east of Dakar, was taken by unknown assailants, but the girl was too old for whoever hired the kidnappers. “Fortunately for me, I did not meet the criteria,” the girl told Radio Futurs Médias. “The man wanted children aged between 2-4 years.”

But two-year-old Fallou Diop wasn’t so lucky. His body was found on March 22 on a farm near his parents’ home in Rufisque – less than 20 miles east of Dakar. “He was playing with his twin sister when unknown people took him away,” the child’s mother told the newspaper Le Monde.

The killings have created a climate of fear in Senegal and the government has promised to take action.

President Macky Sall has promised to track down and bring the perpetrators to justice, saying he learned about the killings and abductions “with much pain.” “Senegal will do more than in the past to halt these terrible acts,” he told Radio Futurs Médias.

Senegal’s Director of Public Security and Senior Superintendent of Police Abdoulaye Diop said he had set up a taskforce to fight the practice. “The general feeling of insecurity will be dissipated,” he told Le Monde. “That is why we have taken strong measures to reinforce national security.”

The phenomenon is not specific to Senegal alone. Ritual killings have been reported in several other African countries, including Uganda, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Cameroon and South Africa.

Those who practice human sacrifice and ritual killings believe them to be acts of spiritual fortification.

Witch doctors use human body parts for supposed medicinal purposes and for black magic rituals which aim to bring prosperity and protection.

Many of the killings usually go unreported and uninvestigated, often because they involve those at the highest levels of power, both in government and business.

Popular protests

On Saturday, March 24, about 500,000 people gathered in Dakar to protest against ritual killings, many of them dressed in black in a symbol of mourning. They brandished slogans such as “Dafadoy” meaning “it’s enough!”

“It’s a cry from the heart to call on parents and the government to take their responsibilities and protect our children,” said Anta Pierre Loum, one of the organizers of the march.

“I am only a mother who has stood up to protest. The death of little Fallou was one more death too many. Senegal has never known a similar wave of assaults on children. The other day, my son woke up with a start – he just had a nightmare and was crying: ‘Don’t take me away!’ This has to stop.”

With one year remaining until Senegal’s next presidential election, many observers are suggesting that the spike in killings is due to candidates seeking help from witch doctors.

Source: CruxNow, April 5, 2018

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