By Yankuba Jallow
Neneh Babou, a resident of Barra on Thursday, 5th December told the TRRC that she lost her 8 – month baby as a result of the concoction she was given by witch-hunters sometime in 2009.
The 36-year-old said she was 8 months pregnant at the time the witch-hunters captured her. She said two of theBa witch-hunters commonly called the witch-doctors under the escort of soldiers came to her home and told her that they were going to cure her because her pregnancy had a problem.
The resident of Barra told the Commission that the witch-hunter pointed his mirror at her stomach and told her that her 8 month pregnancy has a problem.
“They told me that my pregnancy has a problem. They said the child in my womb has a problem and they were going to cure me. I replied that I was ok, but they insisted that I must go with them. I was taken away together with my in-law,” she said.
The Essau born said when she reached the place where the witch hunters parked their bus; the onlookers were saying those who were captured were witches and wizards. She said she was asked to get on board the bus and to wait for the marabout to give her the medicine.
“When the marabout came, I asked him about the medicine, he said I have to go with them and they will give me the medicine. I refused to go with them, but I was forced to go with them,” she said.
She said the soldiers were armed and the Green Boys were also present at the scene. She said they were taken to a place in the Kombo’s. She added that they reached their destination around sunset. She said before her turn, she observed that all those who drank the concoction fell down and they become unconscious. She added that she drank a cup full of the concoction and vomited thrice. She said her in-law also vomited after drinking the concoction. She testified that the following morning, she was released together with her in-law.
“When we were released, my in-law began suffering from pain and we were moving from one hospital to another. She is currently mad,” she said.
“My stomach continued to give me problems and I used to go to the hospital frequently I gave birth. When I deliver at the Essau health center for the first three days, the baby was not suckling. I was referred to the Banjul hospital where I spent 3 days and the baby was not still suckling my breast. We were told to go home and my husband was buying milk for her to drink,” she said.
She said days later, she returned to the Essau health center and was referred to the EFSTH where she spent two weeks under medical care. She said the baby began developing sickness.
“The baby was unable to move. Her hands and legs were not functioning. She died when she was 8 months,” the tearful mother said.
She said after the witch-hunting exercise, she gave birth to four, but three died. She said she has two miscarriages.
She told the Commission that her in-law is alive but she is still suffering from the pain of the concoction while some others she was arrested with died as a result of the health complications they developed after drinking the concoction.