6 Dec 2013

No place for sorcery in developed PNG: civil society head

10:12 am on 6 December 2013

A civil society leader in Papua New Guinea says sorcery has no place in the country's future.

The comment, from the interim president of the PNG Civil Society Forum, came at the close of a conference in the Eastern Highlands provincial capital Goroka on sorcery-related violence.

The three-day forum looked at the underlying causes of a growing level of brutality and murder following accusations of sorcery and generated heated debate over whether it actually exists.

Susan Setae says aside from the devastating consequences of the violence associated with the practice, belief in sorcery is hindering PNG's development.

"There is no place for sorcery, there is no place because a lot of our development is actually deterred by this belief, this fear. People can't go into businesses. People are afraid: If I go into business, the sorcerer will kill me. Or people can't build new houses because they say, If I put up a new house, I will get killed."

Susan Setae says people live in fear of the power of sorcery.