dimanche 16 août 2015

#Gabon-Ritual killings: MOUILA IS TERRIFIED

Jonas Moulenda Reporting.


The capital of the province of Ngounié (southern Gabon) is still struggling to become a healthy and reassuring city. It remains a mecca of throat cutting. Sometimes mutilated bodies are regularly found within city walls and in the surrounding villages. Worse, people disappear without a trace. Hence psychosis therein is amplified in recent years with new macabres discoveries.

This morning, the capital city of the province of Ngounié seems asleep on its laurels. In Moukoumounabouala, an area of he 1st district of Mouila, the atmosphere is heavy. This is one of the breeding grounds of murders with organ harvesting. Bodies of women wearing piles into their sexual organs were discovered in recent years.

Mouila is afraid. The ritual crimes resumed after a lull period consecutive to the numerous complaints and threats of judicial authorities. "We thought that ritual murders were over. Unfortunately, they started again here. It's scary ", laments Nadège, waitress in a busy city hotel.

HUMAN ORGANS TRAFFICKING. A complete blur reigns on crimes and disappearances recorded in recent times in the city. In a climate of propaganda and highly polarized political camps, supporters of the opposition accuse those of the majority (in power) to be responsible for this abominable practice which tarnishes the image of Mouila. "They kill men, women and children and remove organs from the bodies," complains a partisan of opposition.

Mouila is scared, residents too. At dusk, many are eager to return home. In a city exposed to a lack of taxis, some do not hesitate to beat the pavement to avoid being overtaken by night. "It is safer to anyone. Everyone is suspicious of everyone. This is why everyone is quick to return home before nightfall, "notes a high school teacher, Martin Samba, without venturing to make clear that the sponsors of ritual crimes are working freely in the city.

In front of the provincial agency of the National Health Insurance and Social Security Fund (Acnamgs), a man and a woman are standing, waiting for family member who came from Libreville the day before. The man is called Pierre Niebana. He is searching for his daughter, 21 years, Indra-Valène Birondou, a 2nd grade student in high school at Lycée Nyonda Makita, missing since December 2013. He has posted multiple messages for help. Without success. The schoolgirl remains missing. Since then, the most contradictory reports are circulating about the fate of the girl.

Some argue that the body of the latter was found putrefying and then buried at the request of the judicial authorities. Others, however, believe that the schoolgirl was kidnapped and still sequestreted by unscrupulous individuals. Conflicting theories which raise tinkling ideas in the head of Mr. Niébana. "I do not sleep since the disappearance of my daughter. I looked everywhere. Judicial authorities reassured me they would put a light on this matter but there is nothing so far", he said, visibly distressed.

RESIGNATION. Mouila is terrified. The police and gendarmerie sometimes performed patrols in city limits. But traffickers of human organs often manage to slip between the cracks. The majority of residents, frightened, prefers to stay with their lips sealed, secretly hoping that God will put a stop to this abominable phenomenon. Resignation is the most shared attitude in Mouila and its surroundings. "Only God can touch the hearts of sponsors and executors of ritual crimes," said Father Gabriel Biapandou Nganga, a priest of the Diocese of Mouila now assigned to Dibwangui.

The unease has grown since 2011 with the assassination of Chief Warrant Officer Major Marcel Mayombo, 48. His mutilated body was found in Nanga, a town in the department of Dola (Ndendé), located 42 km from Mouila, where he had gone with his «brothers in arms» for military maneuvers. A few months later, a retired military policeman (gendarme) was abducted from his home by night in Moukoumounabouala, a district of Mouila. Since then, his body has not been found, despite the inquiry opened by the judicial authorities.

Mouila is terrified, its surroundings as well. When traffickers in human organs are not attacking their targets within city limits, they fold in some cities of the province where vigilance is less increased. Thus a man of 68, Théophile Ndemé Kola had been snuffed then his organs harvested in Mbel-Naltembé, small town about thirty kilometers from Lébamba, the head of the department of Ogoulou, last June.

Jonas Moulenda
Journalist in exile in France, for ECHOS DU NORD

August 16, 2015

Translated from français by CLG.

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