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Weapons used in torture destroyed

By Marjorie Finkeo of Post Courier (originally published on April 26, 2023.

A homemode gun, a crowbar used to torture women, and 77 marijuana plants and dried leaves were surrendered as police, community and church leaders witnessed the event in Monokam community, Kompiam Ambum district in Enga Province.

The significant event was led by Wabag Catholic Diocese’s Bishop Arnold Orowae, Auxiliary Bishop Justin Ain and church leaders from other denominations who met with more than 70 men who called themselves The Disciples, who are from 12 tribes in the Ambum Valley.

They are behind the accusation and torture of nine women following the death of businessman, the late Jacob Luke in Lakolam village last June. Four of those tortured have survived the ordeal.

They were burnt with a hot iron rod which was shoved into their private parts as hundreds of bystanders watched as they succumbed to a painful death on that day.

The guns were destroyed and marijuana plants burnt and a huge metal cross was erected in the heart of the Monokam community.

This was a symbol of the renunciation and surrender by the alleged sorcery accusation-related violence (SARV) perpetrators, and these men have pledged to be SARV advocates in their community.

There was singing and dancing as women and children received assurance from the men who they once feared, that they will be committed to protecting life and be advocates against SARV through their network.

Caritas Wabag Bishop Justin Ain is calling on drug and alcohol specialists in the National Narcotics Bureau and specialists in mental health in country for their service in the accompaniment phase of the Male SARV Advocacy Program.

He said that while these men have made their renunciation in public, they are accountable for their actions, and the church, community leaders and responsible government agencies and partners have a responsibility to help them break away from substance abuse and addiction which are the main causes for them getting involved in SARV torture and tribal conflicts.

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