Monday, September 15, 2008
11 people were killed in a stadium riot in the Democratic Republic of Congo after a soccer player tried to use witchcraft to win a local match
Nyuki club was losing to local rivals Socozaki when Nyuki's goalkeeper advanced up the pitch and tried to use "fetishist" spells to turn the tide of the match. When a police commander tried to break up an ensuing brawl between rival players, members of the crowd pelted him with rocks. Police fired teargas in response, causing a stampede to the exits in which 11 people were killed and several injured. As elsewhere in Africa, many Congolese hold traditional animist beliefs and use spells, fetishes and charms to practise witchcraft. The riot happened in Butembo, in North Kivu province, where fighting between the army and rebels has raged on despite the official end of a 1998-2003 war that has killed an estimated 5.4 million people through violence, hunger and disease.