Saturday, December 06, 2008

Murders in Papua New Guniea

War is a terrible thing, and people will go at great length to end it. Having said that, I haven't before heard about such desperate measures as those reported from Papua New Guniea.

Papua New Guinea women kill males babies to end tribal war

WOMEN in Papua New Guinea's Highland region are killing their male babies to end a tribal war that has gone on for more than 20 years.

Two women from the Eastern Highlands spoke of the slaughter to PNG's National newspaper during a three-day peace and reconciliation course in the region's capital of Goroka.

Rona Luke and Kipiyona Belas, from two warring tribes, said male infanticide reduced the cyclical payback violence infamous in Highlands tribal fights.

When I first read about this, in a Danish newspaper, I was skeptical. It sounds too grim to be true. Searching on more information on the internet, I came across more reports on the story, and I began to fear that it might be true.

Fortunately, it appears that the story is based upon a misunderstanding.

Salvos deny PNG 'baby killing' reports

Salvation Army workers in Papua New Guinea have dismissed reports that women in the remote Highlands region are killing male babies to end a tribal war that has spanned more than 20 years.

Newspapers have reported that women in the Eastern Highlands are murdering their own baby boys to avoid the pain of losing them as men in a long running tribal fight.

The Salvation Army is working in the region to bring peace to warring tribes and said the women were speaking hypothetically at a peace and reconciliation workshop.

A spokeswoman said the Highlands women are making the point that there are so many murders they might as well kill their newborn boys themselves, rather than go through the pain of losing them in tribal fights.

This sounds much more realistic.

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