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 United Nations Secretary-General's Campaign
to End Violence Against Women

Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon
There is one universal truth, applicable to all countries, cultures and communities: violence against women is never acceptable, never excusable, never tolerable.

SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

A visit to Tindang, a home for the "outcast" as part of 16 days of activism against gender based violence

They number about 600, including women, children and men. They have come to Tindang, a small community in Gnani outside Yendi to seek refuge from the harm of those accusing them of being witches and for fear of their lives.

Tindang is headed by a fetish priest known as Liwunli Banenba. Banenba is regarded as the Chief of the community, and through whose interventions, the 'witches' are exorcized and freed from the bandage of evil forces or are simply accommodated.

One of such residents at the Tindang “witch camp” is Fati. She looks 75 years plus, but has forgotten her age. Fati recalls exactly why she came to Tindang over 20 years ago. She said she willingly left her home in Zugu, Yendi because she wanted the truth out. She had been accused of killing her husband’s brother. According to Fati, it was established that she did not kill her brother in-law and yet she could not return home for fear of being humiliated and chastised. Today, as her eldest daughter, Sana, lives with her and cares for her.

Tanam also left her home in Kerachi Nsunua in the Volta region for being accused of murdering. "I cannot farm nor go for water. I am so vulnerable and depend on the services of others" she says.

According to Alhassan Shei, the son of the fetish priest of the community, when the women come and they refuse to return to their homes they are left to remain in the community.

These are only two of the many stories of the human rights violations of people accused of being witches. In order to spend some time with them and collect additional information on witch camps across the country with the goal of finding ways of eliminating such communities, the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs (MoWAC) and partners, including UNIC Accra, paid a visit to Tindang as part of activities to mark this year’s 16 Days of activism against gender-based violence (GBV).

The community, however, was not very pleased seeing us because according to Alhassan Shei, they receive numerous visitors from organizations and institutions, both public and private with promises to engage the authorities to bring water, electricity and schools to the community. Yet, they never come back.

The Head of Research and Senior Project Officer of MoWAC, Mrs. Juliana Amponsah said the Ministry is aware of the existence of such communities particularly in the Northern part of the country and efforts will be made to address their needs.

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