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Report: Politicians in Uganda Sacrifice Children to Win Elections

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According to children’s charity Kyampisi Childcare Ministries (KCM), there were several documented cases of child sacrifice in several districts of central Uganda during the recent election period.

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Child and adult sacrifices are relatively common in the East African country, where many believe that the killing of another human being acts as an offering to an unidentified entity that will, in turn, guarantee monetary wealth, physical health and protection from evil spirits.

KCM, which cares for children rescued from attempted sacrifices, said Monday that six children were recently mutilated and murdered in the Ssembabule, Mukono, Buikwe and Mubende districts. The child killings were reported from October 2015, to February 2016, during the run-up to the Ugandan presidential and parliamentary elections.

Shelin Kasozi of KCM told Reuters that those accused of the killings had been arrested and detained, but the cases had yet to go to court.

"Child sacrifice cases are common during election time," she admitted. "We think the killings were election-related."

According to a 2011 report by KCM and UK-based charity Jubilee Campaign, there are hundreds of unreported cases, including macabre instances of burying children alive and cutting and draining their blood, that do not come to the attention of state authorities.

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Moses Binoga, coordinator of an anti-trafficking task force at the interior ministry, said that a probe was ongoing and claimed that the government had no evidence that children being killed in the belief that their deaths would improve the chances of a candidate's election win. Boniga did confirm that children had been reported missing in the election period and that several child and adult sacrifice cases occur in Uganda annually.

In those cases victims were found mutilated, sometimes with hearts or livers removed, and, in two cases, without heads. According to the UN, in 2015 the African continent saw a dramatic increase in attacks on albinos, also linked to belief rituals said to be ordered by various political candidates.

The elections in Uganda were held on February 18, resulting in President Yoweri Museveni returning to power for a 5th term.

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