Monday, January 28, 2013

Suspected Ritual Killing of Young Girl Creates Panic in Nkambe

Sidone Mabah (Suspected killed by boyfriend)
There is panic and pandemonium in Nkambe town; the Divisional headquarters of Donga Mantung Division in the North West Region of Cameroon after a young man was napped by police for alleged involvement in the ritual killing of a young girl. The young girl’s dead body was discovered in the bush in the outskirt of the town in an advanced decomposing state beyond recognition. It is suspected the corpse could a young girl named Sidonie Mabah. Sidonie Mabah we gathered was last spotted with his boyfriend, Gamnje Ivo last January 1, 2013 and since then she had never returned home. On January 10, 2013, the population of Nkambe was taken aback when the corpse of a young girl was discovered in an advanced discomposing state. Thousands stormed the area yet the scene was the most shocking ever witnessed in Nkambe. Many who took the pains and the courage to go closer to the unidentified corpse went home wondering who would have done such a sacrilege in Mbumland….Rumours were bound that some parts of the body were cut-off.However, a week a go, a young man by name Gamnje Ivo was arrested by police for alleged involvement in what the population say is “ritual killing” of Sidonie Mabah.  We gathered that members of her family and friends had tried to get to Sidonie by phone but every time a male voice would always tell them on phone that she is out of the house. “Sometimes the trick was that she had gone to the market” we learnt. The male voice had also been telling some of her friends that they should not panic because she was in Yaounde. Other friends also said they got the same response when they tried to find out where she had disappeared to. However, last week, police investigation unmasked that the person in keeping of her phone. Gamnje Ivo was arrested in Nkambe with Sidonie’s phone. The shocking news is that the man who claimed was in Yaounde was also found with seven sim cards. Gamnje Ivo, who thought he was smarter could not play the trick for long. When Gmanje Ivo was picked with Sodonie’s phone in hand responding to another call, he told the police that he doesn’t know the whereabout of the owner of the phone. He is quoted to have told the police that Sodonie was a former girlfriend and when they separated, he took back the phone he bought and gave to her as a gift. When quizzed why he had been saying that they were in Yaounde and that the owner of the phone had gone to the market every time they called the number, he said he had never made such a statement before.
Sidonie's corpse?
It is even alleged that the young man killed her in his house and later paid an okada rider to deposit the corpse in a nearby bush. Yet, allegations are also rife that Gamnje Ivo in order to destroy the traces of blood on his bed set the “matelas on fire” and (other beddings). More so, it is also alleged that the young man started beating up the girl on the night of January 1, 2013 and took her away to an unknown destination. And since then, she was never seen. Yet, the corpse was buried without an autopsy conducted on it to really identify whether the dead body was that of Sidone or someone else. Notwithstanding, Gamnje Ivo is still in police custody where he is claiming that he is innocent of the allegations.  As of now, there are so many stories in “sha drinking spot” in Nkambe. Some allegations are rife that Gamnje Ivo started beating the girl at the night club yet it is not clear why the young boys and girls or even her friends who witnessed the scene had remained mute over the issue. While others are saying that he killed her in his home and latter hired the services of an “okada rider” who helped him to transport to corpse. 
At present Sidonie's family is pleading and crying everyday to that Gamnje Ivo should confirm that their daughter is dead so that they know.  It should be recalled that since the corpse was in an advanced decomposing stage as could be seen in the picture, the corpse was handed to the council for burial. More so even the dresses were beyond recognition. There is total confusion in Nkambe...... as members of the girl's family are in a confused state and some of them still continue to have hopes that Sidonie Mabah is still alive somewhere...yet some are asking that if the corpse is not that of Sidonie, who could it be giving she is the only girl that has not been seen.
(Below is a comprehensive report by Nsom Joseph on Ritual Killings)
Phenomenon of Ritual Killings (written by Human Rights Defender Nsom Joseph)

The most pathetic thing is that despite the Charter on Human and People’s Rights’ stipulating that each individual is entitled to respect for his/her life and integrity of his/her person, human beings are slaughter everyday in various forms.  Ritual killing is becoming a common phenomenon in Cameroon. The phenomenon of ritual killings and the practice of human sacrifice tend to occupy a comfortable position in most African countries. These practices entail the hunting down, mutilation and murder of the vulnerable people in society, including people with disabilities, women, and children. Those who practice sacrifice and ritual killings believe them to be acts of spiritual fortification. Motivations to carry out these acts include the use of human body parts for medicinal purposes and the belief that some human body parts possess supernatural powers that bring prosperity and protection.
Ritual killings in Cameroon
This phenomenon is very common in Cameroon, especially from the believe that an individual could be offered as a sacrificial lamb to a spiritual realm by another. It is common to hear that some accidents on our highways are provoked by some spiritual powers so as to recuperate the deaths thereof. The numerous deaths often registered at the end of the year (November-December) in Cameroon are often interpreted as deaths pertaining to individuals who have been offered by fortune seekers to these powers. As if this may not be enough, Cameroon since December 2012 has registered a series of physical ritual killings in some of her towns, particularly Yaoundé. Today, Yaoundé is still suffering from these killings particularly in the neighborhoods of Mimboman, Biteng and Nkomo in the Yaoundé IV sub division.
According to information gotten from “www.Cameroon-info.net”, 18 young women are abducted, murdered and found with brains, eyes and genitals missing. Victims are abducted by motorbike taxi drivers. They are first raped before removal of the needed human body parts (eyes, sex, breast, heart, kidney) after which they are dumped somewhere. Victims are generally young girls in the age bracket (15-26) years. Most families around this area live in terror and the sister of one victim (Deborah Ngoh Tonye) writes to President Biya accusing him of inaction.
Deborah Ngoh Tonye said her sister, Michele Mbala Mvogo, a student at the government bilingual High School Yaounde was abducted three days before her body was found outside one nursery school in Mimboman. She accused the city's commonly-used motorcycle taxi drivers of facilitating the murder, and said the government had failed to do enough to protect the victims, who were from the poverty-stricken neighbourhoods of Mimboman and Biteng.
Families in the neighbourhood are said to be in a state of hysteria, banning their girls from taking motorbike taxis and keeping them indoors after dark. Vigilante groups of young men guard the streets at night and hunt for the killers, as the people of Yaounde say the police are not doing enough to keep the city safe. The new wave of gruesome killings in the capital has also seen dozens of complaints about mutilated corpses in the mortuaries of Yaounde's public hospitals, according to Health Minister Andre Mama Fouda.
Communication minister Tchiroma Bakary said: “Ritual sacrifices with a demoniac connotation are unacceptable and intolerable, and the government will do all it can to put a stop to it.” In a communiqué addressed to the nation on 23/01/2013, he revealed that seven children were killed and that only four of them were properly identified. According to him, the government is in total control of the situation with some of the suspects already in the police detention.   
What are Cameroonians saying about these ritual killings?
The Cameroon society today is highly flourishing in cults, lodges, and other spiritual mediums. People get into these areas to acquire power and wealth, and most highly placed persons in Cameroon are known to belong to this spiritual world. In order to reap from this spiritual world, individuals need to sacrifice, and most of the time, the sacrifices are humans.    
Most Cameroonians believe that the ritual killings are simply serving as sacrificial lambs for those who intend to maintain themselves or acquire new comfortable positions in the Cameroon society. With a cabinet reshuffle in view, as well as elections (legislative, senatorial, municipal), it is believed that prospective candidates must have consulted their mediums and are asked to supply some human body parts. In this case the bike riders are simply rendering a service for which they are paid. It is also possible that the bike riders could be out to satisfy an expressed demand from some international dealers in human body parts. Whatever the case, the bike riders are agents of the demon, and it could have been better if they were not born at all.   

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. Minute by Minute Report on Cameroon and Africa

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