A few days ago, on January 19, I published a post ‘Sketchy overview of the most famous ritual murder cases in Liberia since the 1960s‘ which included a link to a number of 2017 ritual murder cases. Since experience shows that after a certain lapse of time links to articles sometimes have disappeared or have become inaccessible I have decided to include this 2017 article in a separate post (hereunder).
As I have often emphasized here, the same experience of lost links – gained after some 20 years dealing with this phenomenon – justifies (in my eyes) the choice I made of adopting the same approach with respect to (all) other articles containing information on ritual murders, witchcraft, superstition or related topics in SSA.
I hope future researchers will be grateful for the choice I made!
Bong County protests election year ritual killings (2017 article)
Published: August 15, 2017
By: Rodney Sieh – Front Page Africa
Gbarnga, Bong County – An increasing number of mutilated bodies found this year in Bong County has sown fear among citizens of the county of resurgence in ritual killings.
“We have seen over five killings since the start of the year,” said Jacob Sameway, president of the Bong Christian Association (BOCA).
He said most of the victims were young girls whose lips, tongues, genitals and other organs had been removed.
The killings have stirred rising anger against the Government of Liberia and Police for doing too little to halt the murders.
“We want to shout out our disappointment and tell the authorities that this needs to stop,” said Olivia Weetol, president of the Bong County Women Organization.
Ansumana Jalloh, whose 12-year-old daughter was killed in Gbartala, Yellequelleh district in mid-December, told FrontPageAfrica he was losing hope for justice.
“When the Police removed the body from the water, they saw that the tongue, the lips, and the genitals were cut off,” he said.
“I filed a complaint but nothing has been done.”
In the most high-profile ritual murder case in Bong County to date, is a 29-year-old girl named Angeline Kolleh, 29, whose body was recently discovered decomposed in the Sugar Hill Community in Gbarnga.
Bong residents disappointed
Residents of the county told FrontPageAfrica Tuesday they are frustrated with the number of apparent ritual killings for multi purposes.
They marched through the streets of Gbarnga to demand that more should be done to address these crimes.
Women of the county under the banner the Bong County Women Association and the Bong Christian Association marched to the Gbarnga administration building on Tuesday and handed over position statements to acting Bong County Superintendent Anthony Sheriff and Bong County Attorney Wilkins Nat detailing several killings that had taken place in Bong County.
The position statement also said that residents in the county no longer feel safe, which is their constitutional rights.
“We present the position statement to the leadership of the county and the joint security apparatus in the county to address the issue of ritual purposes and wants the government empower the security particularly the Police to conduct rigorous search for Moses Porkpah, who is the alleged murder of Doris Nyan to ensure his arrest and to face justice without delay and consequences of his actions,” it said.
‘Police Failing Us’
The document detailed several murder cases which were opened, but in which no arrests were apparently made.
“The death aged 27-year-old Madasu Sannoe, who was reportedly murdered by her husband on June 17, 2015.
The remains of Sannoe is still at the St. Kennedy funeral home without clear decision from either the government nor her family members concerning her burial,” it alleged.
“Secondly, Doris Nyan aged 29 was killed in Cow Farm, Zota district on June 1, 2017 by her husband Moses Porkpah, who also fired two other community people in an effort to get him arrested. To date, Porkpah is yet to be arrested,” it added.
John Flomo aged 30 was killed in Bowee town on October 16, 2016. Jacob Kollie aged 25 was killed in Jennipleta, Jorquelleh District One on December 19, 2016. Ansu Massaquoi aged 45 was killed at Gull farm, Jorquelleh district on January 21, 2017,” it added.
“Our Police are failing us… it is like [criminals] did their own research to find that it will be much easier here because the Police are behaving like school principals sitting in their offices instead of being out in the streets saving lives,” said relatives of Nyan.
It called for the Police to intervene with immediate effect.
“We also expect to get response with immediate effect before the community takes law into their own hands,” the relative said.
Responding to the citizens’ petition, Bong County Attorney, Wilkins Nahn, said the government will ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice.
Nahn called for patience from victims as all was being done to increase the search of Porkpah and other perpetrators. “I would like to thank you for resorting to this peaceful manner but I would like to assure that the Police have been exerting efforts to ensure that the perpetrators are arrested,” he said.