Witch-hunt in Congo
Arkanji was twelve years old when her family accused her of witchcraft, forcing her to flee her home. “My dad began telling the neighbors I was a witch. He called everyone living nearby and even relatives who live far away. He told everyone I was a witch,” the girl recalled. She is just one of many other children abandoned by family.
In South Kivu, a province in the Democratic Republic of Congo, if a family faces hardships or illnesses, people seek out local messiahs dubbed Mujakazi. Their solution is to find a woman or child “possessed by demons” and to pronounce them responsible. In most cases those accused by Mujakazi are burned alive or stoned to death and few manage to flee.
Why is it impossible to refute such an accusation?
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