Archive for the ‘Gambia’ Category

A Literal Witch Hunt in Gambia

May 21, 2009

A literal witch hunt is taking place in Gambia, a poor nation in West Africa where belief in sorcery is widespread.  The campaign was orchestrated by Gambia’s eccentric despot, whose official title is His Excellency President Professor Dr. Al-Haji Yahya Jammeh.  In the past he has promoted a herbs-and-bananas “cure” for AIDS, threatened to behead homosexuals and forbidden anyone but him from driving under a giant arch commemorating his coup in Banjul.  He has also arrested, tortured, imprisoned and killed journalists and political opponents.

The witch hunt began in January after Jammeh apparently became concerned that there were sinister sorcerers in his country.  Men wearing red tunics, mirrors and cowrie shells rounded up suspected witches to the accompaniment of drums and transported them to secret locations where the accused were forced to drink a hallucinagen that would supposedly put an end to their witchcraft.  Those who imbided the liquid became sick and some of them died.  Villagers were also forced to sacrifice red he-goats and red roosters in an effort to destroy the so-called evil spirits.  The witch hunt reportedly ended in March.

Note to self: Don’t move to Gambia!