3 November 2017

Burundi: Over 30 People Accused of Witchcraft to Be Killed in Mugina Commune

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Poster against female genital mutilation. Burkina Faso outlawed female genital mutilation/cutting in 1996 but eradication has proved difficult. Experts say the recent death of one girl from cutting highlights the need for new strategies to fight the practice.

The inhabitants of Mugina Commune of Cibitoke Province are gripped with fear because of tracts found in this locality. Unidentified people made a list of over 30 people that will be killed. They are accused of sorcery.

Ngendakumana Eliane, a resident of Mugina Commune says he is worried about the security of people living in Mugina because of tracts found on 2 November. "We do not know who wrote them," says Ngendakumana. "Last week we found a list of 9 people and on 1 November we found another of 17 people. Authors of those tracts say those people will be killed because they use witchcraft," she says.

For her, the authors of these tracts aim at causing fear in society. She demands that the security of the population be strengthened.

Bigirimana Kalala, finds that the people listed in these tracts are unfairly accused. "We have known them for a long time. They are not involved in these despicable acts, "says Bigirimana. For him, people who spread tracts are inventing a pretext to commit crimes. "I am deeply concerned for their lives. Accusing them of witchcraft is a pretext to kill them, "says Bigirimana.

Authors of these tracts to be severely punished

The administrator of Mugina commune says these tracts were distributed because of a person who got ill. "After attending a prayer, she revealed that she has been bewitched. The first tract was written in the room where the patient was, "she says.

Mugina commune administrator calls on the population to rush to the hospital if a person gets sick instead of believing in witchcraft.

She says that local authorities in collaboration with security forces are conducting investigations to identify the authors of these tracts. "They will be seriously punished," says Mugina administrator. She refers to this as criminal act. "Accusing someone of witchcraft in this locality is like wishing them death ," she says.

Last week, Barakamfitiye Enias was killed in Mugina commune near his home. He was accused of witchcraft.

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