Thursday, December 1, 2011

Witches camps in Ghana to be disbanded

The Africa Report

Efforts to disband witch camps and reintegrate alleged witches into society in the northern parts of Ghana seem to be receiving unfavourable response from some of the inmates.

But the Government of Ghana working in collaboration with civil society and human rights groups says the disbandment of the camps will continue on a gradual process.

Those who are kicking against the move, known as the Alleged Witches Coalition, say they feel safer and more secure living in the camps than in their individual communities.

At a just ended two-day conference to streamline measures to implement the disbandment in Tamale, north of Ghana, the Coalition led by its Vice President, Techina Mutaru says, some of them would lose their lives if they were reintegrated into their communities without a proper education and orientation to community members.

ActionAid Ghana and Songtaba, both civil society non governmental organisations in the country, organised the conference to assure inmates that the disbandment would be humanely implemented.

The country's Deputy Minister for Women and Children's Affairs, Hajia Hawamu Boya Gariba, said Government would not allow such dehumanizing conditions of the witches' camps to continue to exits.

The conference issued a communiqué calling on Government to first meet the immediate needs of the inmates before introducing the disbandment road map.

Since the camps developed following witchcraft allegations against people, mainly older women, the communiqué says pragmatic and operational legal regime should be put in place to will halt the fresh creations.

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