Killing Children a Political Ritual

Antoine Lawson, Reuters, April 21, 2008

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The murder of children and young adults, whose organs are eaten or used to make magical amulets, has increased in recent years in the oil-rich central African nation. Campaigners say some Gabonese politicians use the black magic rituals to boost their chances of winning lucrative government posts.

With elections to municipal councils on Sunday, many fear a spate of gruesome child murders.

Every week, mutilated bodies are discovered in the capital Libreville, despite police patrols. Anxious parents keep a close eye around schools so children aren’t snatched.

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In ritual killings, which still take place in several African countries, victims’ body parts and blood are used in ceremonies to bestow social success and political power.

The ALCR says February alone saw 12 such killings in Gabon.

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