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At least 50 tombs of minors have been desecrated in the last three months in a cemetery in the city of Chimoio, central Mozambique, which is already being investigated by the authorities.
The scene, as Lusa found on the scene, is recurrent: open graves,no sight of the remains of the children and the robes of the deceased left by the vicinity of the cemetery of Manhama, Trangapasso neighbourhood.
The most recent incident occurred on Monday morning when three graves were desecrated, leaving the population astonished and indignant, which has yet to explain the incident.
“We are studying this situation,” said Abreu Alface, leader of the Trangapasso neighbourhood, adding that as a first step and in the aftermath, traditional authorities will create a children’s ward in that cemetery.
Police authorities in the province of Manica link the cases to the practice of cannibalism and of satanic rituals with human bones, trafficked among followers of these beliefs at prices high enough to motivate the desecration of the graves.
However, according to the community leader, there are other opinions about the situation, some of them of a mystical nature. He adds that there are those who argue that a mixture of burials of stillborn babies after abortions, children and adults may be causing “a spate of spirits” because it contradicts the traditional principles of the cemetery.
For prevention, a traditional ceremony has been held in the cemetery, in order to “unravel the mystery and see if [the situation] will improve.”
There are also those who propose a simpler hypothesis, that this might be caused by dogs digging up the graves, “because paw prints may be seen” on the site, Abreu Alface said. However, for this explanation, the opening of coffins appears to be a difficult task, he acknowledges.
The corpses disappear altogether, say community members.
Rogério Joaquim, a resident of Trangapasso, describes the scenario of successive desecration of graves as “very disturbing.”
He hopes, like the rest of the neighbourhood, that the traditional ceremonies recently held locally will solve the problem.Source: Lusa
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