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86 women removed from witch camps

Two human rights advocacy Non Governmental Organizations, Songtaba and Action Aid Ghana are making inroads in their mission to disband and reintegrate all inmates of witches camps scattered in the Northern Region.

So far, they have succeeded in reintegrating 86 ostracized women camped at isolated settlements and labeled as witches.

They have vowed not to give up their fight for a complete disbandment and reintegration of women tagged as alleged witches and banished from their original communities.

[contextly_sidebar id=”vSXNbcHrqY41FirJLPO6nYPIXr3mbL6Z”]Programmes Coordinator of Songtaba headquartered in Bimbila, Mrs. Adam Lamnatu revealed the reintegration of the 86 alleged witches at a days’ forum for civil society organizations and local government officials on reintegration and disbandment of alleged witches camps held in Tamale.

With support from Action Aid Ghana, the forum was funded by Roths Child Foundation.

She said though cumbersome, Songtaba and Action Aid succeeded with the exercise and were determined to complete the unfinished agenda.

“It has to do with a lot of processes, once a woman expresses interest to go home it is time for you to go and see her family, the community she is coming from and the chief in that community so that they can accept her reintegration back home,” she explained.

“One of the things we did was to ask them what their intentions have been, whether to continue to stay in the camps or to go home and several of them developed interest to go home.”

Mrs. Adam Lamnatu said the two organizations met with all the key stakeholders involved in the reintegration exercise.

“It was not easy: we had to work with a whole lot of stakeholders, the youth groups of the communities they are intending to go, the chiefs and their immediate family because if you do not work with these people and then she goes back there is going to be re-accusation: and so it has not been easy but with support from action Ghana and other stakeholders at the community level and the reintegration committee we have being able to push this through.”

President of the alleged witches Network in the Northern Region, Mma Táchira Muntaru bemoaned the inhumane conditions they have being subjected to at the alleged witches’ camps.

The participants supported the disbandment and reintegration of the alleged witches.

Records showed that there were about 600 alleged witches and 500 of their dependants camped at six isolated settlements in the Northern Region.

With the Gambaga alleged witches camp being the oldest, two of these camps are located in the Gushiegu District.

By: Abdul Karim Naatogmah/citifmonline.com/Ghana

One comment

  1. Of the 5 women in Banyasi, two were later found in Tindang (they are still living there) and one was dumped at a shrine in Tamale. 50 others were shipped from Kukuo and Tindang to Banyasi and back to their camps. ActionAid has stirred unrest in the camps. In Kukuo, some women say, after they witnessed the Banyasi “exercise” they never want to be “reintegrated” like this. ActionAid should reconsider its aggressive monopolist policy of noncooperation with professionals who have been doing work in the field since decades, including professional reintegration. See http://www.witch-hunt.org for further information.