Mr Gene Cretz, United States Ambassador to Ghana has congratulated the government on its efforts leading to the closure of the alleged witches’ camp at Bonyase in the Central Gonja District.
He delivered the congratulatory message at a brief interaction with journalists in Tamale on Monday, as part of his visit to the Northern Region (N/R) to observe how development projects being undertaken by the United States government were supporting Ghana’s efforts to spur progress in the Region.
The government, through the Ministries of Gender, Children and Social Protection, and Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs, on Monday closed down the Bonyase Witches’ Camp and reintegrated five alleged witches, who were at the camp, into their various original communities.
Mr Cretz said: “We applaud the Ghanaian Government for recognising that traditional practices such as the detention of accused witches in Witch Camps, female genital mutilation, early and forced marriages and widowhood rites amount to serious human rights violations that demand action.”
He also applauded the work of the traditional rulers, the media, religious leaders, civil society groups such as Songtaba, ActionAid Ghana, the Local Enterprises and Skills Development Programme, and the families and communities that searched their hearts to welcome and reintegrate the alleged witches.
He said: “While closing the Bonyase camp is a laudable achievement, it is incumbent on all of us to ensure that those leaving the camp can return and thrive in their home communities in safety and dignity.”
He said: “we must all recognise that now the hard work begins… the sort of challenge that can only be solved by a multi-stakeholders approach” adding the support of civil society groups, traditional rulers including other stakeholders would be needed in the days ahead to ensure the successful reintegration of the women.
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