Child Sacrifice Emerges as Disturbing Uganda Trend

A neighbor who also happened to be a witch doctor had snatched Geoffrey and cut off his genitals. Police believe he wanted the genitals of a child as a good luck charm to bury under a new house.

The neighbor is now in prison for his crime. Somehow, despite massive loss of blood, Geoffrey survived.

But he will need specialized medical care at least until he is an adult, care that his impoverished mother and father can't afford. The family is relying on a local children's activist organization, the African Network for the Prevention and Protection Against Child Abuse Network (ANPPCAN), to pay for Geoffrey's routine surgeries and transportation.

But to get this care, the boy has had to relocate to his grandmother's house in Kampala, splitting up the family.

Godfrey still cries when talking about the effect the incident has had on him and his family, and how he feels about the perpetrator.

"I still can't understand why he did this," Godfrey says.

The Influence of Film

These hideous crimes are becoming more common. But why now? No one is totally sure.

ABC went undercover to learn more about the shadowy world of witch doctors. Posing as a married couple building a hotel, we sought help from this witch doctor to fight the "evil spirits" working against our enterprise. At the witch doctor's compound were mothers with babies, men with business worries: They were all there seeking help.

We met with the witch doctor four times, and before he would take any action, the witch doctor and his associates asked for money -- a lot of it.

At the last meeting, we were summoned and told that our enemies have already resorted to human sacrifice. When we ask what we can do to fight this, we're told that the spirits are demanding that we come back the next day with $1,500 and he will tell us what to do next. And if we don't take the next step, one of us will die.

We did not return. We do not know if this witch doctor was trying to set up a sacrifice, but police believe he is involved in this sinister practice. He is now under police surveillance.

Two thousand officers have been trained to tackle the hideous crime, forming the Anti-Human Sacrifice Task Force, equipped in part by the U.S. government.

Police are visiting churches and mosques, trying to crush the growing belief in the power of child sacrifice.

Commissioner Moses Binoga heads the task force. He says it's a challenge to convince people that the act of human sacrifice is not spiritual but a crime.

"We tell them the disadvantages and the dangers which they are causing," said Binoga.

And the police plead for sanity.

"Uganda, I think, is a country of hope," said Bukuluki. "And hope against hope, I think it is possible to deal with this vice."

But the fear is until the people of Uganda deal with this vice, Uganda's children will not be safe.

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