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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Killing babies to end a war


Published: 01 December, 2008, 17:16
Women have undertaken the systematic killing of all male babies in a desperate effort to end violence between rival tribes in Papua New Guinea's Eastern Highlands region.
Two women each from warring tribes came forth and described to PNG's National newspaper their desperate effort to end tribal fighting.
Rona Luke and Kipiyana Belas said that because of a notorious history of cyclical payback, the only way to stop the violence was to reduce the stock of males in the tribe which would force them to stop fighting.
'Babies grow into men and men turn into warriors,' said Luke.
Rona Luke was attending a special conference called 'peace and reconciliation' in the region's capital, Goronka.
“All the womenfolk agreed to have all babies born killed because they have had enough of men engaging in tribal conflicts and bringing misery to them,” Luke said.
'It's a terrible, unbearable crime, but the women had to do it," Luke added.
The women could not give a figure for how many had been killed.
The men in this region are constantly at war with each other and this has left women and children to fend for themselves, making simple food gathering very difficult.
Many of the conflicts have been going on since 1986 and often they are over claims that a rival tribe used sorcery and witchcraft to cause the death of tribal members.
The Salvation Army is currently trying to initiate peace talks between the tribes and hoping the males will lay down their arms.

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