11 Dec 2008

The two villages where mothers killed EVERY baby born a boy for ten years

The Daily Mail - UK November 28, 2008

by Richard Shears

The Papua New Guinea jungle has given up one of its darkest secrets - the systematic slaughter of every male baby born in two villages to prevent future tribal clashes.

By virtually wiping out the 'male stock', tribal women hope they can avoid deadly bow-and-arrow wars between the villages in the future.

'Babies grow into men and men turn into warriors,' said Rona Luke, a village wife who is attending a special 'peace and reconciliation' meeting in the mountain village of Goroka.

Slaughter: The Papua New Guinea Eastern Highlands where it has been claimed women in two villages killed all their male children for a decade to prevent tribal warfare

'It's because of the terrible fights that have brought death and destruction to our villages for the past 20 years that all the womenfolk have agreed to have all new-born male babies killed,' said Mrs Luke.

'The women have had enough of men engaging in tribal conflicts and bringing misery to them.'

The sensational claims recall the Biblical story of the Old Testament pharaoh who ordered all midwives to kill Israelite baby boys because he wanted to ensure there were never enough young men to fight in an army against the Egyptians.

Mrs Luke said that the village women agreed that if they stopped producing males, allowing only female babies to survive, their tribe's stock of boys would go down and there would be no men in future to fight.

A resident of Agibu village, Mrs Luke said she did not know how many male babies were killed by being smothered, but it had happened to all males over a 10 year period - and she suggested it was still happening.

Choking back tears she added: 'It's a terrible, unbearable crime, but the women had to do it.

'The women have really being forced into it as it's the only means available to them as women to bring an end to tribal fights.'

Confirming the shocking infanticide claims, Mrs Kipiyona Belas from the rival Amosa village, told a newspaper that getting food for their families was difficult because husbands were fighting other tribes with bows-and- arrows and spears.

Often the men did not come back, having been killed on the 'battle field', usually a clearing in the jungle.

Now, with the help of the Salvation Army and the initiative of local Pastor Michael Hemuno, the tribal women hope the slaughter of babies can end and those men who are still warriors will lay down their weapons and talk peace.

'We are trying to get them to live peacefully and end all the deaths of young and old,' said Pastor Hemuno.

Tribal fighting in the region of Gimi, in the country's Eastern Highlands, has been going on since 1986, many of the clashes arising over claims of sorcery.

Papua New Guinea tribes, who dress up in warrior paint and feathered finery for special occasions, are strong believers in sorcery and often blame their enemies for bringing about deaths through witchcraft.

This article was found at:



Papua New Guinea’s notorious cult leader, Steven Tari, who calls himself ‘Black Jesus’ is awaiting trial

Black Jesus cult leader who boasts he had sex with over 400 girls as young as 8 convicted of rape


  1. It is 2013, And They’re Burning Witches

    By Jo Chandler The Global Mail February 15, 2013

    Belief in black magic persists in Papua New Guinea, where communities are warping under the pressure of the mining boom’s unfulfilled expectations. Women are blamed, accused of sorcery and branded as witches — with horrific consequences.

    “They’re going to cook the sanguma mama!”

    The shout went up from a posse of children as they raced past the health clinic in a valley deep in the Papua New Guinean highlands. Inside, Swiss-born nurse and nun Sister Gaudentia Meier — 40-something years and a world away from the ordered alps of her homeland — was getting on with her daily routine, patching the wounds and treating the sicknesses of an otherwise woefully neglected population. It was around lunchtime, she recalls.

    Sister Gaudentia knew immediately the spectacle the excited children were rushing to see. They were on their way to a witch-burning. There are many names for dark magic in the 850 tongues of Papua New Guinea, sanguma resonating widely in these mountains. The 74-year-old sister hurriedly rounded up some of her staff, loaded them in a car and followed the crowd, with a strong foreboding of what she would find.

    Two days earlier she had tried to rescue Angela (not her real name), an accused witch, when she was first seized by a gang of merciless inquisitors looking for someone to blame for the recent deaths of two young men. They had stripped their quarry naked, blindfolded her, berated her with accusations and slashed her with bush knives (machetes). The “dock” for her trial was a rusty length of corrugated roofing, upon which she was displayed trussed and helpless. Photographs taken by a witness on a mobile phone show that the packed, inert public gallery encircling her included several uniformed police. ...

    ... It was lunchtime the next day when Sister heard the children’s chilling chorus outside the clinic window. “I left the car up the road and then we went into the village. At least we tried to go in,” the Sister recalls. The crowd was so dense she couldn’t push through. “I went back to the car and drove to the police station to report that they were torturing her again. The police commander said, ‘We can’t do anything. They promised me they wouldn’t.’”

    Sister drove back, taking a priest with her. This time they fought their way through. “There must have been 600 people watching; men, women and children — a lot of them.”

    Angela was naked, staked-out, spread-eagled on a rough frame before them, a blindfold tied over her eyes, a fire burning in a nearby drum. Being unable to see can only have inflated her terror, her sense of powerlessness and the menace around her; breathing the smoke and feeling the heat of the fire where the irons being used to burn her were warmed until they glowed. Would she be cooked, on that fire? She must have known it had happened to others before — and would soon infamously happen again, the pictures finding their way around the world.

    The photographs witnesses took of Angela’s torture are shocking, both for the cruelty of the attackers and the torpid body-language of the spectators. Stone-faced men and women and wide-eyed children huddle under umbrellas, sheltering from the drenched highlands air as Angela writhes against the tethers at her wrists and ankles, twisting her body away from the length of hot iron which a young man aims at her genitals. [The photograph of Angela accompanying this article, taken on the first day of Angela’s torture, is confronting, but chosen as less humiliating and dangerous than pictures taken on the second day which would identify key individuals.] ...

    to read the full article and view the photos go to:


  2. Two women beheaded in Papua New Guinea over witchcraft claims

    by CHARLIE COOPER, The Independent April 8, 2013

    Two elderly women have been beheaded in front of a crowd of onlookers in Papua New Guinea in the latest of a spate of brutal attacks in the country against people accused of witchcraft.

    Police at the scene were outnumbered by an angry mob and were forced to stand by as the women were murdered in a remote village, the Post-Courier newspaper reported.

    Bougainville police inspector Herman Birengka said his men had been “helpless”.

    It is understood the two women had been suspected of causing the death of a local teacher through sorcery.

    “The two women were rounded up and taken to Lopele village after they were suspected of practising sorcery and blamed for the death of a former teacher, who was from Lopele village,” Mr Birengka said.

    The newspaper reported that the two women had been tortured for three days before the murders, suffering knife and axe wounds. Police were sent to the remote village to act as mediators but were held back by the mob, who were reportedly armed with firearms, knives and axes.

    The killings come days after six women accused of sorcery were reportedly tortured with hot irons in the country's Southern Highlands and last month a woman was burned to death by a mob, leading Amnesty International to call for more action to prevent violence associated with accusations of witchcraft in the country.

    The killings have led 1,000 people to march through the streets of Buka, in Bougainville Province, in protest against sorcery-related killings, Radio Australia reported.

    Local human rights leader Helen Makena, chairman of the North Bougainville Human Rights Committee, told Radio Australia that the feeling at the rally was “sadness” but that women and men “spoke out and condemned the barbabaric killing”.

    Amnesty has urged Papua New Guinea's government to address the violence in the Pacific nation, where many still believe in sorcery.