WORLD: Dangerous Flooding in Namibia; Gambia Rounded Up 1,000 in ‘Witch Hunt’March 20th, 2009
Dangerous Flooding Leads Namibia to Declare Emergency
The nation of Namibia, in southern Africa, has been pushed to declare a state of emergency after flooding in the nation killed at least 90 people. Fields of crops, homes, schools and health centers have been destroyed by the floods, reports the BBC. In addition to the massive destruction, hippos and crocodiles have emerged from the high waters to attack and kill people, reports the news service. President Hifikepunye Pohamba has called the floods one of the worst in recent memory and anticipates food shortages as a result and others fear the spread of disease. Pohamba is asking for international aid, which might be harder to come by considering charities in the continent are already overwhelmed and stretched thin due to the global economic crisis. In neighboring Angola 25,000 people have lost their homes in the floods.
Gambia Rounded Up 1,000 in ‘Witch Hunt,’ Says Rights Group
The African nation of Gambia rounded up 1,000 suspected witches, secretly locked them up and made them drink an unsafe potion that could cause them to hallucinate, says rights group, Amnesty International. The potion has resulted in the deaths of two and many others experienced kidney trouble by drinking the liquid, reports CNN. Teams of officers, soldiers, security and “witch doctors” stormed several villages taking people they thought to be witches at gunpoint, relatives say. One victim spoke of his ordeal to Amnesty, saying the “dirty water” he was forced to drink caused him to have diarrhea and throw up. “I experienced and witnessed such abuse and humiliation,” he said. “I cannot believe that this type of treatment is taking place in Gambia. It is from the dark ages.” The organization called for “an immediate stop to the witch-hunting campaign.” Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh bought in “witch doctors” from nearby Guinea after his aunt passed away, believing her death was due to witchcraft, the group alleges. The hunt has led to hundreds of Gambians fleeing to nearby Senegal, says the rights group.