Human Rights

A month old baby victim of ritual attack?

By Yaya Dampha
A bizarre report of an attack on a month old baby in Basse in the Upper River Region of the Gambia has sparked a wave of speculation about the possibility of ritual killings in the country.  The incident reportedly occurred on January 25th 2010, when the one-month old baby girl was reportedly found lying with one of her hands broken and her face lacerated by her assailant (s). A woman, said to be residing in the area where the incident occurred, narrated to this source that the mother of the baby, Mariama Wuri Jallow, had left her child in the house to fetch water at a nearby public tap to wash her little girl’s cloths. But to the utmost surprise of the mother, on her return, she found her daughter crying in an unusual manner. At first she thought the child was just crying out of hunger. She rushed in and took her, and on trying to breast feed her she realized that part of her face had been chopped off and her left hand broken. The helpless mother reportedly cried out and informed neighbours of the situation. Mariama Wuri Jallow was then reportedly accompanied to the Basse Police Station, where they reported the incident. The child’s father was said to be at his workshop in the town at the time of the incident. When contacted by this source, the authorities at the Basse Police Station confirmed the report, but they added that the police had not yet been able to make any arrest since there was no eye witness to the incident. Rumour of mysterious death Meanwhile, wild rumours are presently abound in urban Gambia that some people are going around town giving out charities in the form of a seven meter white cloth and two kilos of meat. Reports say that people who receive these gifts end up dying straight away. Sources added that the deaths of two people have already been linked to the rumour.

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