Monday, December 1, 2008

If this doesn't break your heart, I don't know what will!

I'm appalled to read of a tragedy in Papua New Guinea.

Frustrated women in Papua New Guinea's Highland region are killing their male babies to end a tribal fight that has warred for more than 20 years.

Two women from the Eastern Highlands told PNG's National newspaper of the slaughter during a three-day peace and reconciliation course in the region's capital, Goroka.

Rona Luke and Kipiyona Belas, each from two warring tribes, said the male infanticide reduces the cyclical payback violence infamous in Highlands tribal fights.

If women stopped producing males their tribe's stock would go down and this would force the men to end their fight, they said, choking back tears.

"All the women folk agreed to have all babies born killed because they have had enough of men engaging in tribal conflicts and bringing misery to them," Ms Luke said.

The women could not give a figure on how many male babies had been killed in the cull.

Ms Belas said getting food was hard as husbands kept fighting and mothers and children were left to fend for themselves.

The Salvation Army is working with various tribes to bring peace to the warring groups. One particular fight continues after starting in 1986 over sorcery claims.

I've witnessed tribal violence at first hand (often, and very bloodily) in Africa. It's endemic to such societies, and sickening in its brutality. Even so, to have women deliberately kill their children in order to bring an end to it . . . can you spell 'desperation'?

Thank God, dear readers, that we don't live in such a society. Spare a thought, and a prayer, for those trapped in such a hopeless situation - and for the souls of those poor children.

May Almighty God have mercy on their souls, and on their mothers.



Old NFO said...

Very true- people here have never been close to anything that remotely resembles what these women are having to do. And yes, may God have mercy on them all.

Brigid said...

Unspeakable act to end unbearable pain. Not a choice any woman should have to make.

phlegmfatale said...

How dreadful!

fuzzys dad said...

This is a painful story to read.