ActionAid Ghana, a non-governmental organization in the country, has called on Ghanaians especially abusers of alleged witches to refrain from such practices and respect and treat all equally.
Ms Adwoa Kwateng-Kluvitse, Country Director of ActionaAid Ghana, who made the call in Tamale on Saturday during a procession march, said the confinement of people in camps as witches was an embarrassment to the people of the Northern Region and a human rights violation which must be stopped.
She called for the assistance of all stakeholders, especially chiefs and the Government to ensure that concrete steps were taken to totally disband the camps to free the alleged witches, saying “There is no place like home”.
The procession which started at the Jubilee Park, passed through some principal streets on the Tamale Metropolis and went to the Dakpema of Tamale’s palace where the chief addressed the participants some of whom were alleged witches.
Some of them carried placards with inscriptions: “Why are the alleged witches always old women”, “Banishing of women into camps is unjust”, “Government must act to restore the human rights of the alleged witches”, “Northern Region has six witches camps, shame”, “Alleged witches have human rights, respect them”.
Ms Kwateng-Kluvitse said she was happy the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs had taken interest in the disbandment process stressing that the nation was losing potentials in these camps.
The Dakpema of Tamale Naa Alhassan Dawuni entreated the organizers to keep on the fight against the abuse of the women’s rights and endorsed the support to re-integrate the alleged witches into their communities.
He said witchcraft allegations were as a result of suspicion embedded in traditional beliefs and practices noting that such beliefs had been deepened by ignorance and illiteracy.
Naa Dakpema Dawuni called for more education of the people to minimize such accusations to ensure the safety and security of all.
The six witches’ camps in the Region are: Kukuo, Nabuli, Kpatinga, Bonyase, Gambaga and Gnani with about thousand alleged witches and over 500 dependants who live with them, most of who are children.