Witchcraft claims against children in Congo DRC reflect curse of poverty | Mark Tran

From Global development | The Guardian Thu Jan 24 2013, 15:05:58

Sorcery charges are increasingly being used by poverty-stricken Congolese families as an excuse to abandon their children

Mabondeli fiddles with her skirt as she tells the story of how her aunt accused her of being a witch when she was a small girl.

She was being taken care of by her grandfather after her parents were killed in a car accident. Her mother's sister believed Mabondeli was responsible for their deaths, saying she was a witch. "Because you have killed my sister you are a witch," she said. "Why are you staying here?"

Mabondeli, 12, wearing bright red flip-flops with a rose motif, cannot quite remember how she ended up on the street. She thinks she ran away to the market, where street children seek refuge. Mama Rose, who runs a centre that has taken in five children accused of witchcraft, tells a different version. She says neighbours had alerted her to the plight of a girl who was about to drown after being placed in a hole that was filling with rainwater.

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