19 Mar 2007

Vanuatu chief to discuss black magic

4:58 pm on 19 March 2007

Vanuatu's National Council of Chiefs says the use of black magic will be discussed at this week's General Meeting.

Chiefs from all around Vanuatu have gathered in Port Vila, and are expected to discuss the tribal conflict which triggered violence in the capital earlier this month

The clashes at the start of the month left three people dead in a conflict between Tanna and Ambrym islanders from the Blacksands squatter settlement on the edge of Vila.

The fighting was sparked by an allegation that a woman in the Tanna community had been killed by the use of black magic.

The National Council spokesmen, Selwyn Garu, says the issue of black magic use in Vanuatu is a complex one that the chiefs need to consider carefully.

"And to have this idea of getting rid of black magic altogether in Vanuatu is not really possible. I mean, how can you do that? So, people believe that all these things have their places in the lives of the people, and only when you are involved in them in a way that is not the right time or way to go about it then it becomes a problem to the community."

Selwyn Garu