Witchcraft committee eyed for Bougainville


THE Sorcery National Action Plan (Snap) committee has recommended that a provincial Snap committee be established in Bougainville to address sorcery accusation-related violence there.
Miranda Forsyth, Llane Munau and Prof Fr Philip Gibbs, members of the national committee, carried out a research for a week in Buka and Arawa in August.
“The national Snap committee should set up a provincial committee in Bougainville to provide guidance and support for those working to address sorcery-related violence,” the researchers said in a statement.
“The committee should plan a series of awareness workshops with those already working in this area including the bishop, village courts and Sister Lorraine.
“It would be helpful to get a group of leaders to make public statements condemning sorcery accusation-related violence and urging people to be very careful about concluding that something has been caused by sorcery.
“This should be followed up with some outreach by the Catholic Church networks, village courts and human rights defenders networks.
“It would be good to do this as a six-month programme and we could measure the impact of this type of blitz.
“Police are not respected here and have no means of really protecting people or implementing the law, and they are not clear about their roles in these cases.
“ Doctors also need to routinely explain the causes of illness to patients and their families.”

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