Sorcerer ‘s tales haunt Port Vila (Vanuatu)

A man is dead, three men are held in custody and Police and community leaders in one of Port Vila’ssuburbs are on the look out for sorcerers who have allegedly preyed on people until a recent confession made by a 19-year-old young man that the claims are true.
As rain continued to pour ceaselessly the scheduled meeting over the contentious reports of a “blood drinking” cult entwined with sorcery in Manples was postponed yesterday.
The story of vampires is truly the story of the month in Vanuatu’s capital today; it is every where- on the buses, on the streets, in the nakamals, at work, church and at home and each version seemingly more horrifying than the next.
A senior Police investigator informed the DP that Police have remanded three people and the Police informant was released back home for protection measures.
Following the revelations of this young informant on break-ins in the Capital and ‘nakaemas’, Police have checked the households he said they raided. Police have already retrieved 2/3s of the stolen goods and after cross checking the goods were returned to their rightful owners, which the informant had correctly identified.
In addition Police have checked these houses for physical signs of forced entry for break-ins but there were none and that leaves no rational explanation of how these people entered the house and stole the goods.
According to Police investigators if they could establish the use of supernatural forces to enter locked premises then perhaps it could also be established that sorcerers use such forces to take the lives of others. But it is going to be very difficult to establish this and that is something many people know and are afraid of.
The Vanuatu legislation acknowledges sorcery exists, as the Penal Code [CAP 135] section 151 states: “No person shall practice witchcraft or sorcery with intent to cause harm or detriment to any other person.”
A few cases of sorcery have made their way to the courts but only one has ever reached the Supreme Court. This is the case where seven men used black magic or sorcery to kill a young girl in Wala Rano, Malekula on December 1995 and were found guilty by the Supreme Court six years later on December 2001. But the case was quashed and the men walked away free after an Appeal Court over threw the sentence on lack of physical evidence.
A community leader clarified that the meeting on Sunday was postponed so as to avoid any interference with police investigation because some suspects are held by Police and the case is ‘very sensitive.’
Meanwhile tension and fear is growing with residents around the area of Manples. Reports reaching the Post said two men have been assaulted on the belief that they have ‘posen’ and were part of this cult. The most recent was on Friday where a young man from Malekula was returning back from work and going home where he lived uphill in the Tamalas area.
He was stopped, his hands tied and dragged down and beaten up near the Kaweriki church compound.
Nakaemas, Sorcery, Black Magic, Posen or whatever name you may call it is unwanted but the reality is it plays a fundamental role in the Melanesian society. In the days of great grandfathers and grandfathers of the present Vanuatu generations, chiefs use it as a measure of social control to maintain peace and order.
Along the way this element which many people believed is embedded in the cultural heritage, was exchanged and fell into the hands of some people who use it for other means than for the purpose it was designed to serve. Jane Joshua

Des histoires de sorciers hantent Port Vila

Un homme est mort, trois hommes sont détenus, la police et les dirigeants de la communauté d’un des quartiers de la banlieu proche de Port Vila se méfiaient de sorciers qui prétendaient terroriser la population jusqu’à la récente confession d’un jeune de 19 ans affirmant que les plaintes étaient réelles. La pluie incessante a reporté à hier la rencontre à propos des rapports litigieux du culte de ‘la boisson du sang’ avec la sorcellerie à Manples. L’histoire des vampires est réellement l’histoire du mois dans la capitale des Vanuatu ; on la retrouve partout, dans les bus, dans les rues, dans les nakamals, au travail, à l’église et à la maison, chaque version plus terrifiante que la précédente.]…]

Selon les enquêteurs de police, si l’utilisation de forces surnaturelles pour entrer dans des endroits fermés à clé pouvait être établie, de fait on pouvait également établir que les sorciers utilisent de telles forces pour prendre la vie des gens. Mais ces faits sont difficiles à prouver, les gens le savent et ont pour cette raison très peur. La législation des Vanuatu reconnaît l’existence de la sorcellerie, le Code Pénal [CAP 135] paragraphe 151 déclare : « Personne ne doit avoir recours à la sorcellerie pour nuire ou porter atteinte à autrui. » Quelques cas de sorcellerie ont déjà été traduits devant la justice dont un seulement est parvenu jusqu’à la cour suprême. Dans ce cas sept hommes ont fait appel à la magie noire ou à la sorcellerie dans le meurtre d’une jeune fille de Wala Rano, Malekula en décembre 1995, ils ont été reconnus coupables par la cour suprême six ans plus tard en décembre 2001. Mais le jugement était annulé par la cour d’appel par manque de preuves évidentes et les hommes furent libérés.]…]
Nakaemas, sorcellerie, magie noire, mascarade, quelque soit le nom qu’on leur donne, la réalité est que ces phénomènes jouent un rôle important dans la société mélanésienne. Au temps des arrière grands-parents, des grands-parents des générations actuelles des Vanuatu, les chefs utilisaient ces faits comme une mesure de contrôle social afin de préserver la paix et l’ordre. Jane Joshua

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