Filed under: Foreign Policy, News | Tags: Africa, AIDS, superstition, world news
“It’s real. Just yesterday here, there was a man who was a victim. We saw. What was left was tiny,” said 29-year-old Alain Kalala,
The Jokes write themselves, but the story really isn’t funny:
Police in Congo have arrested 13 suspected sorcerers accused of using black magic to steal or shrink men’s penises after a wave of panic and attempted lynchings triggered by the alleged witchcraft.
…Police arrested the accused sorcerers and their victims in an effort to avoid the sort of bloodshed seen in Ghana a decade ago, when 12 suspected penis snatchers were beaten to death by angry mobs.
It’s a glimpse into the distant past for the West — when belief in witchcraft and superstition were widespread — but a dangerous reality in present-day Africa. The same sort of pervasive, ignorance and superstition remains one of the biggest challenges to slowing the spread of AIDS on that troubled continent.