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Women killed baby boys to stop tribal wars, says report

Women in a remote area of Papua New Guinea killed their baby boys over a decade-long period to stop breeding males who would continue long-running tribal fighting, a report has revealed.

The tribal feud, which has carried on for more than 20 years, has left many women in the Gimi area of Okapa, in the Eastern Highlands, struggling to feed their children after their men went off to fight, The National newspaper said.

Two women, Rona Luke and Kipiyona Belas, revealed the infanticide during a peace and reconciliation training session in Goroka last week, it said.

They told the paper that the women in their community decided to stop producing sons in the hope that they could reduce their tribe’s male stock to the point where the men would have to withdraw from fighting.

”Therefore, all the womenfolk agreed to have all male babies born killed because they have had enough of men engaging in tribal conflicts and bringing misery to them,” the women said.

The women were unable to say how many male babies were killed during the tribal conflict but Luke said several mothers lost their sons over a 10-year period.

”She choked back tears recalling the experience, saying it was an unbearable crime but they had to do it,” The National reported.

”She said they were forced into it as it was the only means available to them as women to bring an end to tribal fights.”

Tribal conflict began in Gimi in 1986, triggered by several deaths blamed on sorcery, the paper said. – AFP

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