Kayunga District, Uganda: two get 40 years in jail over ‘child sacrifice’

On November 13 I posted on this website a report on the notoriety of Kayunga District in Uganda when it comes to child sacrifices and ritualistic murders. In this posting I mentioned the case of Allan Ssembatya – then a six-year old small boy – who was cut with a machete and left fighting for his life in a forest. The offence was committed in Busolo Village, Kayunga District, in 2009. Luckily, Allan was found alive. Two men were arrested for attempted murder; recently they were sentenced to 40 years in prison. Both Allan Ssembatya and the the convicts, Awali Kivumbi and Paul Ngaswireki (see photo), were residents of Busolo in Kayunga Sub-county, Kayunga District.

Thirteen years after the incident took place justice was delivered. Hail to the Uganda judicial system! Nevertheless the foregoing, ‘prevention is better than cure’: all efforts should be made to prevent these crimes through proper education and the eradication of superstition.
(webmaster VDK)

Warning: some readers may find the following report disturbing.

Two get 40 years in jail over ‘child sacrifice’

Awali Kivumbi (left) and Oaul Ngaswireki (right) during the court hearing. PHOTO | FRED MUZAALE

Published: September 20, 2022
By: Fred Muzaale – Monitor, Uganda

Court has sentenced two men to 40 years imprisonment each after they were found guilty of attempting to behead a six-year-old boy for ritual sacrifice.

Chief Magistrate Sarah Tusiime yesterday sentenced Paul Ngaswireki and Awali Kivumbi, after evidence linked them to attempting to murder Allan Ssembatya who was cut with a panga (machete) and left fighting for his life in a forest. 

He was only discovered by his grandparents while in a coma.

“In light of the above evidence, submissions and the law, the prosecution has provided its case beyond a reasonable doubt that A1 and A2 are guilty of the offense of attempted murder of Ssembatya Allan contrary to Section 204 of the Penal Code Act,” held magistrate Tusiime.

The prosecution led by Mr Edward Muhumuza states that the offence was committed in 2009 in Busolo Village.

Ssembatya is now 19 years and in Senior One.

At the time of the incident, Ssembatya was six years old and in Primary Two at Busaale Church of Uganda Primary School, Kayunga. 

In her ruling, the magistrate held that the conduct of the two convicts before, during and after the commission of the act was wanting.

The magistrates explained that Kivumbi, had been a good neighbour and even visited Ssembatya’s family quite often in hospital.

“It makes one believe that the frequent visits by A2 (Kivumbi) were to monitor the health of the victim or to conceal their participation. Such conduct is enough to prove that indeed there was malice aforethought,” held Ms Tusiime.

The magistrate also observed that the body parts damaged were the neck, head, skull, shoulder and testis.

The victim and the convicts were all residents of Busolo in Kayunga Sub-county, Kayunga District.

The convict was in their first trial acquitted for lack of evidence. However, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) appealed, leading to yesterday’s verdict.

Present at court were the father of the victim and a number of anti-child sacrifice activists from Kyampisi Childcare Ministries, a non-governmental organisation.

The magistrate branded the case as purely one for “child sacrifice”.

Both convicts asked for lighter sentences.

“I have 12 children and two wives and I was their breadwinner. I now don’t know what my family is up to,” Kivumbi said.

Mr Peter Sewakiryanga, the executive director of Kyampisi Childcare Ministries, said he had relocated Ssembatya’s family for their safety.

“My belief is that now we have a precedence that, however long it takes to get justice, when there is will by the community, justice can be delivered,” Mr Sewakiryanga said.

Source: Two get 40 years in jail over ‘child sacrifice’

Two chilling stories from Nigeria

I’ve repeatedly stated here that the number of ritual killings in Nigeria is too high to include all on this site. Yet for research purposes I try to keep up with the numerous reports on suspected and confirmed ritual murder cases, locally often referred to as ‘money rituals’.

Today two articles crossed my path which I do not withhold the followers of this site. The first article concerns the discovery of a corpse with vital organs missing in Plateau State, hence a case of suspected ritual killing. The second case within two months as mentioned in the article. The second story reports the arrest of a ‘Yahoo boy’, caught with human parts, and a herbalist, in Delta state. I leave the conclusion to the imagination of the reader.
(webmaster FVDK)

Warning: Some readers may find the following disturbing

First article

Ritual Killing: Another Corpse Recovered In Plateau Village, Vital Organs Missing

Published: November 13, 2022
By: Ado Abubakar Musa, Jos – Daily Trust, Nigeria

The corpse of a 24-year-old identified as Ealdi Marcus has been recovered in the outskirt of Babale community of Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau. The body of the deceased which was dumped in the bush was discovered on Friday afternoon with his vital organs removed.

The Plateau State Police Command confirmed the incident to Daily Trust, saying that efforts were being made to arrest the perpetrators of the crime.

Our correspondent reports that the killing of Marcus is coming barely two months after a 14-year-old, Maryam Salisu was murdered in cold blood on the outskirts of the Babale village with her vital organs also removed.

According to a resident of the community, Marcus disappeared last Saturday, and all efforts to know his whereabouts were unsuccessful until Friday afternoon when his corpse was found in the nearby bush.

Blues Samuel Bulus, commander of the neighbourhood watch in Babale, explained how the corpse was found in the bush saying, “We saw some people whose movement suggested all was not well and when we asked, they told us that they were searching for their brother who disappeared on Saturday.

“Before they came to us, we were already told that a corpse was discovered in the bush. We told them to go and confirm if the said corpse was that of their missing brother and on getting there, they discovered that it was actually the body of their missing brother.”

Nafiu Idris, a commander of hunters in the community expressed worry over the incident and called on the government to do the needful to ensure the security of the area.

He said, “We are really worried. This is the second murder in a few months and people would just be killed for nothing. We are calling on the government to come to our aid.”

Source: Ritual Killing: Another Corpse Recovered In Plateau Village, Vital Organs Missing

Second article:

Delta herbalist, ‘Yahoo boy’ caught with human parts

Published: November 13, 2022
By: Deji Lambo – Punch, Nigeria

A yet-to-be-identified suspected fraudster, alongside his herbalist, one Ike, aka Ogenesu, have been arrested after policemen attached to the Obiaruku Police Station recovered suspected human parts at the herbalist’s place in Obiaruku, in the Ukwuani Local Government Area of Delta State.

PUNCH Metro gathered that the fraudster was driving to a destination in Obiaruku around 5.20pm on Friday, October 28, when five policemen, who were on a stop-and-search duty, flagged down his vehicle.

Instead of parking, the suspect zoomed off, as the policemen, who became suspicious of his action, gave him a hot chase and caught up with him.

A resident, who asked not to be identified for security reasons, said the policemen, while searching the vehicle, found a note specifying the need for human parts.

“The instruction on the note was that the man should provide a human head, hand and leg. After recovering the note, the policemen asked what he wanted to use the specified items for and out of fear, he said it was for something.

“So, the policemen embarked on full investigation by visiting the Obiaruku Police Station to obtain a warrant to search his three-bedroom flat and while searching his house, they obtained another written note requesting the same items in the first written note that was found in his car,” the resident added.

The source said after the policemen found the notes, they detained the suspect and during interrogation, he said Ike requested the human parts.

He explained that the next day, the suspect led policemen to the herbalist’s place, and while searching the premises, a decomposing corpse was found beside a fish pond.

“The herbalist used nylon to cover the corpse and since the corpse was close to the fish pond, nobody perceived the smell because of the odour around the fish pond.

“The policemen took the Yahoo boy and the herbalist to the station and they were transferred to the state command for further investigation,” the source added.

A video clip in possession of our correspondent showed the herbalist unwrapping a sack containing the bones of a corpse.

A human skull was also seen beside the sack in the midst of policemen questioning him over the incident.

In his defence, Ike was heard saying, “It was my child that was buried; I dug the grave and removed the corpse from where it was buried.”

The state police spokesperson, Bright Edafe, did not take his calls and had yet to respond to a text message sent to his mobile phone as of the time this report was filed.

Source: Delta herbalist, ‘Yahoo boy’ caught with human parts

Uganda: why human sacrifices still thrive in Kayunga District

Many of my postings on this site refer to reported or suspected ritual murder cases in West Africa. However, this phenomenon dating from ancient times also exists in other regions of Sub-Saharan Africa. Superstition and the greed for power, wealth or good health constitute the main driving forces behind the crimes of ritual murder, human sacrifice and/or ritual cannibalism.

In East Africa ritualistic murders are rife in Uganda. As mentioned below, according to the 2013 Child Sacrifice and Mutilations Report, one child is killed for rituals every week. A mind blowing statistic. Within Uganda the Kayunga District has earned the dubious reputation of being one of the most notorious killing places. Read the breath taking article below; the reader is warned as it contains graphic details.

Uganda is one of an increasing number of SSA countries where human sacrifice and ritualistic murders have become crimes which carry the death penalty. Many countries and international initiatives have outlawed the capital punishment, but several African countries take a different course, notably to contain and/or eradicate ritual murders. The big question is whether the death penalty, which is not always executed, will bring us closer to a society where people no longer fear falling victim to ritual killers. Or should we look for another approach the eradicate this scourge of ignorance and superstition?

PS For an interesting plea to abolish the death penalty the reader is invited to read the following article: ‘Death of Death Penalty in Ghana‘ or click here.
(webmaster FVDK)

Why human sacrifices still thrive in Kayunga

A suspect digs up a place where he claimed to have buried a child in Kayunga District last year. PHOTO/FRED MUZAALE

Published: November 11, 2022
By: Fred Muzaale – Monitor, Uganda

What you need to know:

  • Police say most victims of human sacrifices are children because they are easier to abduct and seen as “pure” and of “higher ritual value.”
  • Last year, President Museveni passed the Prevention and Prohibition of Human Sacrifice Bill 2021, which criminalises the act of human sacrifice.

————————————————————————————————————–

On a hot Monday afternoon at Kayunga Court premises in Kayunga District, Allan Ssembatya walks with his head lowered. 

Visibly not in a good mood, he is in the company of a man and a woman. The two grown-ups are his mother and father.

The 19-year-old Ssembatya’s forehead bares a big scar that he sustained after he was cut with a machete by two men during an attempted ritual murder incident in 2009. He was by then 6 years old.
Fortunately, Ssembatya, now in Senior One, survived, but lost both of his testicles. Because of the cut inflicted on his head, he now has persistent headaches and nightmares.

A resident of Busolo Village in Kayunga Sub-county, Ssembatya spent one month in a coma after the incident.

“Doctors who examined him after the attack said he would not be able to bear children. This is purely a case of human sacrifice,” Ms Sarah Tumusiime, the Kayunga Chief Magistrate, revealed during a court session last month.

She sentenced the convicts; Paul Ngaswireki and Awali Kivumbi, both residents of Busolo Village, who were found guilty of committing the offence, to 40 years each in prison.

According to Ssembatya’s father, his son was attacked by the two men when he had gone to the garden to harvest a jackfruit. He was later left fighting for his life in a forest.

Ssembatya’s case is the latest among such incidents, but Kayunga District has had numerous human sacrifice-related incidents.

In March 2020, a 60-year-old man in Kakoola Village, Kitimbwa Sub-county, was beheaded and his head taken by unknown assailants.

The torso was later recovered from a bush. Two witch doctors were arrested in connection with this incident although the whereabouts of the human skull is still unknown.

Additionally, a traditional healer in Kisoga Village, Nazigo Sub-county, was arrested in 2018 after five bodies were found buried in his shrine. He was sentenced to life imprisonment by Mukono High Court.

Last year, a father in Bbaale Sub-county was arrested after he allegedly killed two of his children over ritual sacrifice. He confessed to the act claiming he was promised Shs2m.

Ms Beatrice Ajwang, the Kayunga District officer-in-charge of the Criminal Investigations Department, said most of the suspects arrested in connection with such acts are “traditional healers and people who want to get rich quickly”.

Ms Ajwang said most victims of human sacrifices are children, apparently because they are easier to abduct and seen as “pure” and of “higher ritual value.”

Without disclosing statistical figures of how many cases of human sacrifice had been recorded in the district, Ms Ajwang confirms that “Kayunga is a hotbed of ritual sacrifice”.

She said out of more than 300 traditional healers operating in the district, their preliminary investigations reveal that half of the number are quacks.

“Kayunga is a unique area, you will find many households having shrines on top of being multi-ethnic. This could be a major contributor to these acts,” Kayunga chairperson Andrew Muwonge said.

Ms Ajwang said despite enacting laws to crack down on those engaging in human sacrifices, the practice has continued.

The law
Last year, President Museveni passed  the Prevention and Prohibition of Human Sacrifice Bill 2021, which criminalises the act of human sacrifice.

The legislation was moved as a private member’s Bill by former Ayivu County legislator Bernard Atiku with the intent of addressing the growing vice of human sacrifice.

According to the new law, any person who mutilates or causes the death of another person for the purpose of performing or furthering a ritual commits an offence and will be punished by the death penalty upon conviction.

“Worse still, it is a big challenge investigating human sacrifice cases because on some occasions it is carried out by parents themselves on their children while in some other cases people are not willing to give information that could be of help to arrest and prosecute offenders,” Ms Ajwanga said, adding: “We appeal to religious leaders to help us instill morals in our people. As police, we have tried to sensitise them against this vice.’’

Ms Sylvia Namutebi, aka Maama Fiina, the national chairperson of Uganda Traditional Healer’s Association, dismisses claims that the acts are committed by people who practice her trade.

“No genuine traditional healer can sacrifice a human being. These are masqueraders hiding in our job. It is our duty to ensure we [genuine healers] weed out such bad people,” Ms Namutebi said.

She said with the help of genuine healers, they have arrested and prosecuted such ‘wrong elements’, noting that she is on a country-wide tour to sensitise traditional healers on professional ethics.

Mr Peter Mawerere, the Kayunga deputy Resident District Commissioner, blamed the vice on ignorance, greed, and poverty. He noted that many people sacrifice human beings because they think it will make them wealthier.

“It is surprising that many people go to traditional healers when they fall sick, even when their ailments can be treated by qualified medical personnel,” he said.

“We have tasked the leadership of traditional healers to fight the acts, which we highly believe are perpetuated by some of their members,” he added.

Rev Fr Maurice Kigoye, the parish priest of Kangulumira Parish in Kangulumira Sub-county,  said: “It [human sacrifice] is really an inhuman act. How can you think that when you kill a person and drink their blood, you can get rich? As religious leaders, we have tried to lure them [culprits] to turn to God and get saved,” Fr Kigoye said.

NGO role
Mr Peter Sewakiryanga, the executive director of Kyampisi Child Care Ministries (KCM), said his organisation receives a number of human sacrifice cases from Kayunga District every month.

“We work with probation officers, police, and other agencies who bring to our attention such cases,” he said.

Mr Sewakiryanga added that in a bid to ensure the culprits are arrested and prosecuted, his organisation facilitates investigations carried out by police officers.

“Many such cases die at the investigation stage, but with our support, a number of the suspects have been prosecuted and convicted like the recent one of Ssembatya. Court sentenced the convicts to 40 years each in jail,” he said.

He explains that KCM also offers treatment, counselling, and psychosocial support to survivors of ritual sacrifice.

“We have in some cases relocated families of the victims for their safety, built them houses and offered education to survivors,” Mr Sewakiryanga said.

2013 report

According to the 2013 Child Sacrifice and Mutilations Report, one child is killed for rituals every week.

The report indicates that people carry out human sacrifices to seek wealth, among others. 

Source: Why human sacrifices still thrive in Kayunga

Ghana: suspects confess to ritual killing in Mankessim Murder

Warning: the following article’s graphic content may upset some readers.

Yesterday I reported on four recent ritual murder cases in Ghana, one of them being the killing for ritualistic purposes of a young lady, Georgina Asor Botchwey, a student nurse, at Mankessim, in the Central Region.

The murder took place on September 9 of this year. Two suspects have been arrested. The suspects are a self-styled pastor Michael Darko, 48; and the Tufuhene of Ekumfi Akwakrom Christopher Ekow Quansah, 65, who reportedly kidnapped, killed, and secretly buried the victim.

Screenshot – click here to watch the YouTube video

The Ghanaian police is to be commended for its swift action. We will follow closely subsequent events. (webmaster FVDK)

Suspects Confess To Ritual Killing In Mankessim Murder

Published: September 23, 2022
By: Gloria Kafu Ahiable – The Ghana Report

Two suspects involved in the murder of a student nurse at Mankessim in the Central Region have admitted to killing the victim for ritual purposes.

The suspects, a self-styled pastor Michael Darko, 48; and the Tufuhene of Ekumfi Akwakrom Christopher Ekow Quansah, 65, reportedly kidnapped, killed, and secretly buried the victim.

The police said the two confessed to “murdering the victim for money rituals.”

“During police interrogation, suspect Michael Darko, who is the alleged boyfriend of the senior sister of the deceased victim and was last seen with her, led police to the location where they had buried her after the murder.”

The body has since been exhumed and deposited at the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital morgue for preservation and autopsy.

Meanwhile, the two accused persons were hauled before the District Court II in Cape Coast to respond to their crime on 22 September 2022.

They were remanded in police custody by the Cape Coast Court to reappear on 4 October 2022.

Both have been charged with conspiracy to commit murder and murder, contrary to section 46 of the Criminal Offenses Act 1960, Act 29.

What happened to the student nurse

The student nurse, Georgina Asor Botchwey, was allegedly kidnapped, killed and secretly buried by the chief and the pastor in the chief’s house at Mankessim.

The victim, 25, is said to have gone for an interview at the Ankaful Nursing Training College when the pastor, who happens to be her sister’s boyfriend, invited her for a meeting.

After the interview, the victim set off to meet her soon‐to‐be brother‐in‐law. Little did she know a trap had been set before she arrived in Cape Coast on 8 September 2022.

The self-styled pastor had conspired with the chief, who is the Tufuhene of Ekumfi Akwakrom, to kidnap and sexually assault her.

On 9 September 2022, the accused persons picked the victim up in a Taxi at the Ankaful Hospital Pedu junction in Cape Coast.

They then took her to an uncompleted building belonging to the chief, where they had dug a hole in preparation for the ritual.

The chief is said to have hit the deceased with a club, and when she fell, her sister’s boyfriend dragged her by the feet while the chief held her neck till she died.

Meanwhile, news that the deceased had been missing for three weeks began to spread in the Mankessim after she failed to return home after the interview.

A notice in circulation read:

“Georgina Botchwey went for an interview at Cape Coast on Wednesday, and up till now, she cannot be found; her phone is off. Please, anybody with information about her should call 0208503126 or 0247048711.”

Following this notice, a friend of the deceased raised an alarm about Georgina meeting with her sister’s boyfriend.

Shortly after the tip-off, the pastor was arrested in Cape Coast and admitted to the crime.

He subsequently led the police to the residence where Georgina had been buried, and her body was exhumed.

The family of the murdered student nurse later disclosed that the suspects initially demanded a ransom from them.

According to Georgina Asor Botchwey’s relatives, the pastor and his accomplice had demanded that they pay GH¢15,000 for her release.

Unfortunately, the family could not raise the said amount.

Source: Suspects Confess To Ritual Killing In Mankessim Murder

Ghana: four recent ritual murder cases: Abesim, Kasoa, Mankessim, Wa

Ghana’s reputation abroad is one of a stable democracy, with a relative healthy economy, albeit plagued by problems which are characteristic for a developing economy: low incomes, lack of jobs, shortage of capital, to name but a few.

However, there is another Ghana, a traditional Ghana, where people believe in the power of ‘juju’, in superstition, and where criminal people do not hesitate to attack their fellow countrymen for the purposes of ritualistic activities, even if this means that the victims die in the hands of their torturers and murderers.

The four cases cited below illustrate this. The ritualistic murders took place in various parts of the country.

In the past I have given ample attention to the Kasoa case which occurred to the west of the country’s capital Accra (Greater Accra region). All murder cases are tragic but the Kasoa case even more because of the background of the young murderers. The Abesim murder which made two victims, two boys of 12 and 15 years old, took place in the Brong Ahafo Region. The Mankassim murder case is situated in Ghana’s Central Region (Ashanti Region), between Cape Coast and Winneba. I will report more on this case in the next few days. Finally, the gruesome ritualistic murder in Wa, in the Upper West Region.

Tthe reader is warned that the graphic details of the murder(s) may be shocking.
(webmaster FVDK)

Four recent ritual murder cases: Abesim, Kasoa, Mankessim, Wa

Published: September 26, 2022
By: Ghana Web

was conducted at his home.

Source: Four recent ‘ritual’ murder cases: Kasoa, Abesim, Mankessim, Wa

Nigeria: Edo Police Command uncovers ritualist’s den, 20 corpses in Benin City, Edo State 

Warning: the following contains graphic details.

Recently, Edo State police did a horrific find when it discovered in Benin City a ritualist’s den with 20 mummified bodies: 15 dried male corpses, three female corpses and two children corpses. Benin City is the capital of Edo State. Click here for more information on the Edo or Benin people.

It is not known who the victims are and how long the corpses have been in the ritualist’s den.

In general, it’s a gruesome reality that many unidentified bodies of victims of ritual murders (‘money rituals’) in Nigeria may be linked to unexplained disappearances. Even worse, some people are not being reported as missing.

Hence the exact number of victims of ritualistic murders in Nigeria is unknown, but much higher than the number of reported cases.
(webmaster FVDK)

Location of Edo state and Benin City in Nigeria

Edo Police Command uncovers ritualist’s den, 20 corpses in Benin

Published: August 19, 2022
By: The Guardian, Nigeria

Edo State Police Command has uncovered a ritualist’s den with 20 mummified bodies, along Ekehuan Road area of Benin City. 
   
The State Commissioner of Police (CP), Abutu Yaro, said the Command unravelled the suspected ritual shrine on Wednesday, August 17 and arrested three suspected ritualists.
  
Yaro said the raid is in line with the Command’s operational mandate of curbing crime in the state.

He said: “Following credible information at the Command’s disposal that some corpses were discovered in a building along Asoro slope off Ekehuan Road, Uzebu Quarters, in Benin City, operatives of the Command immediately swung into action and mobilised to the scene.”
  
According to him, three suspects were arrested at the scene, namely: Chimaobi Okoewu ‘m’ and Oko Samuel ‘m’ both of Afikpo in Ebonyi and Gideon Sunday ‘m’ of Akwa-Ibom State, while other suspects fled.
  
Yaro said the police have launched an intensive manhunt to apprehend the fleeing suspects.
 
Among the corpses discovered at the scene of the crime, are 15 dried male corpses, three female corpses and two children corpses.
 
He noted that the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of the State Command Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (CIID) has been directed to carry out a discreet investigation to unravel the circumstances surrounding the discovered corpses.
  
The commissioner urged members of the general public to be calm as the Command will continue to ensure the safety of all law-abiding citizens and those residing in Edo State.

Source: Edo Police Command uncovers ritualist’s den, 20 corpses in Benin

Cameroonian woman kills sister-in-law, chops body for ritual

It is relatively rare that ritual murder cases are being reported from Cameroon though this does not mean that these atrocious practices do not occur in this Central African country. I’ve explained on previous occasions that my continuous search for ‘muti’ murders, ‘money rituals’, ritual killings and other superstitious practices suffers from a bias. As a result, more cases from anglophone countries than from francophone and lusophone countries are being brought to my attention.

Though both French and English are official languages in Cameroon, eight out of its ten regions are primarily francophone. Hence, francophone media dominate the news which may explain the underreporting of Cameroonian ritual murder cases on this site. (webmaster FVDK)

Cameroonian woman kills sister-in-law, chops body for ritual (Videos, Photos)

Warning: article contains graphic details (webmaster FVDK):

Cameroonian woman kills sister-in-law, chops body for ritual (Videos, Photos)
Published: August 23, 2022
By: TSJ Reporter – The StreetJournal, Nigeria

More articles on the same murder case:

Woman Kills Sister-In-Law, Chops Body For Suspected Money Ritual

Published: August 23, 2022
By: Rachel Okporu – Naija News, Nigeria

Marie France Mbea, a 57-year-old Cameroonian woman, has been arrested for allegedly killing her sister-in-law for suspected money ritual.

Naija News gathered that the culprit killed the woman and chopped her body in a hotel in Yaoundé’s Biyem Assi area.

Marie was intercepted on Monday, August 22, 2022, while leaving the hotel with the body parts stuffed in a suitcase.

According to Local Media, the suspect claimed she had a phone conversation with an unidentified man who directed her to murder her sister-in-law in exchange for money.

She checked into the hotel with the victim where she used a beer bottle to hit her on the head and slit her throat.

Marie fled the hotel on Sunday night after killing her sister-in-law, only to return on Monday carrying a machete and a travelling bag.

When the hotel administration saw that she was carrying something too heavy for her and refused offers of assistance, they became suspicious and called the police.

The suspect, during interrogation at Yaounde police headquarters, admitted that the body parts were intended to be transferred to a man in exchange for money.

Source: Woman Kills Sister-In-Law, Chops Body For Alleged Money Ritual

Liberia: Traditional devils arrest six men for allegedly killing two children for rituals 

The arrest of six men in Nimba County, Liberia, for allegedly killing two children on June 9 warrants three comments.

Handsome-boy Mahn, 9 years old, and 4-year old Zayzay David mysteriously went missing in Boe Bonlay Town, Boe-Quillah Administrative District, which is also part of District #6, Nimba County. Later the kids were found dead, murdered, although the police ruled out any foul play. Subsequently, the villagers asked traditional devils for help, to search for the perpetrators. This led to a ‘citizen arrest’ when six men were arrested on July 16 and turned over to police in Sanniquellie, Nimba County for interrogation. Among the suspects was an uncle of the two children.

Reportedly, the arrested men confessed and admitted to killing the two kids. The suspects accused a former Deputy Defense Minister of involvement ands ordering the ritualistic murder. Allegedly, the named former deputy minister wanted to contest for a representative seat in 2023 in Nimba District #6.

The reader is warned that the article below contains graphic details.

The incident leads me to three comments, based on the facts as reported by the source, the Liberian newspaper Daily Observer, one of Liberia’s leading newspapers, known and respected for its trusted news and interesting analyses.

First, the ‘election season’ is approaching in Liberia with planned presidential and general elections in 2023. It is not uncommon in Liberia that during election campaigns people disappear mysteriously, to be found later dead, mutilated, with ‘parts missing’, a local expression indicating the removal of organs or body parts for ritualistic purposes. Already Liberia has experienced several cases of unexplained disappearances, suspected deaths, and obvious ritual murders in the past few years.

Secondly, if true that initially the police had reported that it had found no foul play whereas the bodies of the victims were found to be not intact, this raises questions about police competence and the rule of law in Liberia. The latter has been subject to increasing criticism during the current administration of President George Weah who faces elections in 2023, the outcome of which will decide whether he will be a ‘one-term-President’ or will seize a second presidential term. It is interesting to note that apparently the people of Boe Bonlay Town showed more confidence in their traditional devils than in the local police.

Lastly, the Daily Observer article presented below contains the full name of the former Deputy Minister of Defense who is allegedly involved in this crime. Although this may be in conformity with Liberian rules and practice, I personally disapprove of such public naming and shaming. Moreover, we should always bear in mind that a suspect or accused person is not guilty unless found guilty by a competent, independent judge in a public, non-partisan trial.

In view of the in my opinion hectic period which Liberia will be facing the next two years it is important to realize this.
(webmaster FVDFK)

Liberia: ‘Traditional devils’ arrest six men suspected of two ritual killings

Published: June 24, 2022
By: Ishmael G. Menkor – The Daily Observer

Traditional devils in the Nimba County District #6, specifically Boe Bonlay Town, have arrested six men for allegedly killing two children on June 9. The two children, identified as Handsome-boy Mahn, 9, and Zayzay David, 4, mysteriously went missing in the Boe Bonlay Town, Boe-Quillah Administrative District, which is also part of District #6, Nimba County.

The kids had returned from the farm before the unfortunate accident.  According to the kids’ parents, Mahn and David went missing while playing.  The community then launched a search immediately but unfortunately, the kids were found dead with their bodies dumped in two separate wells about 20 minutes apart. The death of the two children then raised concern and fears among the citizens and the district at large, especially when the police or the 15-person coroner jury explained that there was no foul play found.

Despite the jury or the police ruling out any foul-play, the citizens this time brought out traditional devils to search for the perpetrators. During this exercise, several men were arrested on July 16 and turned over to police in Sanniquellie, Nimba County for interrogation.

Following their arrest, the six suspects reportedly admitted to killing the children, with one of the accused suspects, Prince Karney, age 41, explaining that they were given the amount of US$1,200 for the operation.

According to information, the main suspect, Zayee Winpea, 43, was hired by Karney to kill the two children for the amount of US$300, while Nenkerwon Mahn, 18, was given US$150 to serve as a watchman while the killing was ongoing. Nenkerwon Mahn is said to be the uncle of the two kids and he also confessed to serving as gate man, while the killing was going on.

The oldest among the suspects, Morris Gonwon, age 45, was also promised US$150 for his part, but his role in the killing was not spelled out.  Two of the suspects, George Sumah, 42, and Lawrence Freeman, 45, were accused of transporting the blood to Monrovia, while Harrison Sumah, 29, grabbed the two children by luring them with lollipops and took them to the house where they were killed, according to Radio Nimba.

Karney was said to be the ‘youth leader’ of Boe Bonlay in Nimba County, and the district coordinator for the Friends of former Deputy Defense Minister Jackson Paye, who had expressed his desire to contest for a representative seat in 2023 in Nimba District #6.

Former Minister Paye was accused by the suspects of facilitating the killing by giving them US$1,200. But Paye on Truth FM on June 23 denied any link to the killing, describing the killing as barbaric, inhumane, and uncivilized.

He explained that the Friends of Paye want the law to take its course, ensuring the alleged perpetrators face the full weight of the law.

Source: Liberia: Traditional Devils Arrest Six

Nimba County, Liberia

Shocking report on rural infanticide, violence against children accused of witchcraft, and ritual attacks against children with albinism in 19 SSA countries

In a recently released document of the African Child Policy Forum (ACPF), Revealing Our Hidden Shame – Addressing Charges of Witchcraft and Ritual Attacks, it is being reported that “hundreds of thousands of children in Africa are believed to be accused every year of what is widely regarded across Africa as a particularly heinous crime: witchcraft”.

In the document, 19 Sub-Sahara African countries are mentioned as the scene of cases of the commission of rural infanticide crimes, attacks against children with disabilities, ritual attacks against children with albinism and cases of violence against children accused of witchcraft.

The 19 SSA countries are scattered across the continent and it is believed – in view of the scarcity of data – that the cases which have come to light only constitute the tip of the iceberg.

It goes without saying that there is no place in the 21st century for these practices and crimes.

Warning: Some readers may find the following story disturbing
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Cult-related attacks against children still occur in at least 19 SSA countries

Published: June 2, 2022
By: LUSA – Macau Business dot com

Angola is the only Portuguese-speaking African country mentioned in a report released on Wednesday by the African Child Policy Forum (ACPF) on the practice of ritual attacks against children.

In the document, “Revealing Our Hidden Shame – Addressing Charges of Witchcraft and Ritual Attacks”, presented Tuesday in a video conference from Addis Ababa, “hundreds of thousands of children in Africa are believed to be accused every year of what is widely regarded across Africa as a particularly heinous crime: witchcraft”.

ACPF executive director Joan Nyanyuki argues in the introduction that “across the African continent, much has been done to improve laws and policies aimed at ending violence against children.”

“Some progress has been made in establishing the systems and structures needed to implement and enforce these policies and laws. These efforts, however, have not sufficiently addressed an important dimension of violence against children: accusations of witchcraft and ritual attacks,” it adds.

In the document, 19 countries are referenced as the scene of cases of the commission of rural infanticide crimes, attacks against children with disabilities, attacks against children with albinism and cases of violence against children accused of witchcraft.

“The report documents, to the extent possible in light of the scarcity of data, how widespread accusations of witchcraft are across the continent (although they vary in extent over time and from place to place). Best estimates suggest that hundreds of thousands of children face accusations every year in Africa and subsequently suffer serious violations.”

Examples given by the document point to reported cases of ritual infanticide in Benin, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Madagascar and Niger, while Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Essuatini, Ethiopia, Ghana, Liberia, Madagascar, Rwanda and Zimbabwe have reported ritual attacks on children with disabilities.

Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali and Tanzania have reported attacks on children with albinism and in South Africa, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Liberia, Nigeria and Tanzania cases of violence against children accused of being witches are reported.

“To protect children from the harm of witchcraft accusations, it is not necessary to deny that ‘witchcraft’ exists. Instead, it is important to prioritise child protection while preventing child abuse by addressing the belief that such abuse can somehow protect communities from perceived danger,” the document argues.

The research that resulted in the report found that with the exception of work done by some non-governmental organisations, “few organisations and states in Africa make systematic efforts to prevent such abuse”.

“Few prohibit accusations. Services for children who have suffered harm and violence related to accusations are few and far between. This area needs urgent attention,” argues the report.

Joan Nyanyuki argues “a comprehensive and coordinated effort by state and non-state actors is needed to uncover the nature, magnitude and impact of violence related to accusations of witchcraft and ritual attacks. This approach will ensure that child protection systems, laws and policies are enhanced to adequately address these forms of violence against children.”

Source: Angola: Cult-related attacks against children still occur in country – report

Also see the following linksWarning: some readers may find the following stories and photos disturbing

How Nigeria’s fear of child ‘witchcraft’ ruins young lives
ALJAZEERA – Marc Ellison, November 14, 2018

‘They accused me of killing and eating my grandmother’: Agony of Congo’s 50,000 ‘child witches’ who are brutally exorcised to ‘beat the devil out of them’
Daily Mail UK / MailOnLine, Nick Fagge, October 19, 2015

Child-witches of Kinshasa
The Eye Of Photography – L’ŒIL DE LA PHOTOGRAPHIE January 2, 2012

‘Saving Africa’s Witch Children’ – June 22, 2009

Saving Africa’s Witch Children (dated June 22, 2009) reporting on how thousands of small children in Nigeria are branded witches. The web page also contains a large number of news reports and articles (2005-2009) including websites of organizations fighting against these cruel and illegal practices.

Africa Map

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.
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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