Uganda: Two Hundred Suspected Witches Slain : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread


KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) -- Over 200 suspected witches were hacked to death in villages in rebel-held northeastern Congo in killings that began June 15, a senior army official said Thursday.

"Villagers were saying that some people had bewitched others, and they started lynching them. By the time we discovered this, 60 people had already been killed by early last week. About 200 people lost their lives," Brig. Henry Tumukunde said.

Ugandan troops had been in northeastern Congo since 1998 in support of a rebellion against the Congolese government. The troops were evacuated earlier in the year, but were sent back to Aru district to stop the killings and arrest suspected killers, he said.

Tumukunde refused to say how many people had been injured or arrested in connection with the hacking deaths. The killings began in Aru, 50 miles south of Sudan on the Ugandan border, but spread deep inside northeastern Congo, he said.

He said diseases endemic to the region were being blamed on witchcraft, noting that drugs to treat the diseases have not been available since the war broke out three years ago.

-- Rachel Gibson (, July 06, 2001

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