Deputy Minister for Children and Social Protection, Madam Lydia Mai Sherman, has expressed concern following the report of the alleged ritualistic killing of 5-year old Aaron Quoi of the Zinc Camp Community, Bentol City, Montserrado County.
Quoi was reported missing on October 9 and his body was discovered three days later in a stream, with a few of his body parts missing, which many believed to be related to ‘Gboyo activity.’
Gboyo, the practice of killing young children and extracting body parts to be offered as sacrifice to gain political power, wealth and success, is an age-old practice that is common, or increases in the build-up to an election, in Liberia.
Minister Sherman, in a press briefing on Friday at the Gender Ministry, said the Ministry strongly condemns the practice and is seriously troubled by it.
She, however, disclosed that the alleged perpetrator in Quoi’s case is at the Monrovia Central Prison awaiting trial, while the 9 year old sister of the deceased has been relocated.
“We assure the public that as the trial is being prepared, the Ministry will provide continuous psychosocial counseling to the victim’s family and liaise with the Gender Based Violence Unit of the Ministry of Justice to provide legal services to the parents for the court hearing,” Madam Sherman said.
“Given our statutory mandate to protect the lives of children, we call on the courts to provide justice to the family of this minor in a timely manner and all other children whose lives may be threatened by such situations.”
Madam Sherman said that in mid-November the Ministry will carry out a robust nationwide awareness in communities across the country urging them to serve as watchdogs for any violence against children and other vulnerable groups in their communities.