UN urges authorities to curb increasing attacks on Albinos

As a surge in violent attacks against people with albinism in Malawi and elsewhere rages on, the UN has made a strong appeal to authorities to prevent attacks and bring to justice alleged perpetrators.

Victims of a growing trade in albino body parts.

Victims of a growing trade in albino body parts.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein Zeid said in statement issued Tuesday the attacks against people with albinism subject them to discrimination and social exclusion as they  always live in fear for their lives.

“These attacks are often stunningly vicious, with children in particular being targeted,” Zeid said, “As a result, many people with albinism are living in abject fear. Some no longer dare to go outside, and children with albinism have stopped attending school because of the recent spate of assaults, murders and kidnappings.”

He said in the past six months, at least 15 people with albinism in Malawi, Tanzania and Burundi were abducted, wounded, killed or subjected to attempted kidnappings, including three such incidents in the past week alone.

“In Malawi alone, at least six incidents have been reported in the first ten weeks of this year, compared to four incidents recorded over the previous two years. In Machinga District, in the south of the country, where several kidnappings and killings have taken place, groups of men are reported to be roaming around hunting for people with albinism,” says the statement.

The statement has documented for incidents in Malawi including the abduction of a 14-year-old girl during the night of 3-4 March, by two men from Kalombo village, in Machinga District, who managed to escape.

“The following night, a two-year-old boy called Chakupatsa Stanely was reportedly kidnapped in another village in Machinga called Murukhu. After the boy’s mother screamed for help one kidnapper was caught, but the other two escaped, possibly across the border into Mozambique and the child has now been reunited with his family”.

The statement also says the situation is also worse in Tanzania.

“Last Saturday (7 March), a six-year-old boy, Baraka Cosmas Rusambo, was attacked in his home in Kiseta village, in Sumbawanga district. The attackers fled with his right hand after cutting it off with a machete. Baraka and his mother, who suffered serious head injuries, are both in hospital. The police have moved Baraka’s two siblings, who also have albinism, to a safer place and have arrested seven suspects, including Baraka’s father.”

The UN Commissioner also said attacks against people with albinism are also taking place in Burundi, where 19 killings of people with albinism have been reported since 2008.

“The latest incident took place on 12 December 2014, when a man was found dead, with a leg hacked off. According to reports, 11 people have been arrested in relation to attacks against people with albinism in Burundi, of whom six escaped and one was convicted.”

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15 thoughts on “UN urges authorities to curb increasing attacks on Albinos”

  1. sabiti says:

    To get rich theres no short cut work hard not vitimising your fellow humanbeings mind u God is watching you

  2. Uncle Lex says:

    How on earth can a real human being have the nerve and kill a fellow human being for the sake of getting rich? And be happy driving posh cars knowing pretty well that it is human blood. Take note that the long hand of God wont miss you sooner or later. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that one suspect has committed suicide in Machinga when he was being taken to Zomba to answer the charge of abducting one child with albinism. Let others take a lesson on this. We can only get rich by working hard and no short cut!!!!!

  3. saxkson says:

    Amalawi pulizi !!!! anthu amene mukuwaphawa ndi anthu ngati ifetonse pulizi !!! tiyeni tiope mulungu adzatilanga tsiku lomaliza .

  4. uncle Bob says:

    Kunalibe izi nthawi ya Ngwazi Ngwazi.

  5. Pimbiton says:

    God punish those who are behind this.

  6. Terrible,terrible indeed.

  7. wokwiya says:

    Those who kill albinos should not be sentenced but just mutilate them in public

  8. chaiwone wawo says:

    Do not tie these brutal acts to any religion or tribe please. They are acts done by bad people of any tribe or any religious inclination. Machinga may have the biggest problem but we should remember that in Malawi albino hunts have been reported also in Mulanje,Thyolo and Zomba. Just remember that all districts in Malawi shelter people of all religions and a variety of tribes. There are as many churches in Mangochi just as there are mosques. Mangochi boasts of Tongas, Lomwes, Yaos and even Chewas. The point is this is not a tribal problem nor is it a one religion problem. Anybody can commit the crime and we just have to fight the practice as a nation.

  9. ian says:

    Koma how do they feel? kodi death sentence siingasayinidwe or ku ngona like kamuzu used to do?

  10. MSANA WA PETURO says:

    This is the work of dirty politicians. A big fish is behind this in Malawi.

  11. Cage Banda says:

    Lamulo lonyonga lija lizigwira ntchito pa mbewazi…ndikanakhala judge mmmmmm ndikanayesesa kuti ndizigamula milanduyi koma ndikanalamula mbwewazi kuti zizinyongedwa basi or ndikanakhala president sindikanachedwanso kusainila death penalty ya njokazi..

  12. sambi says:

    Its really high time authorities takes strong stand against this crime. Lets hold hands to fight this crime out of Malawi

  13. nkunthamasese says:

    a silamu Akupanga zimenezi .

  14. Dambuzo Mwasanya says:

    Really sad situation for our Albino brothers and sisters.These archaic illiterate people from Machinga thinks will make a killing by killing these Albino kids?Get a life please.Stay away from these beautiful kids and let them have education than fearing for their lives just because some stupid people are looking for quick riches in a dirty way.If I see one nearing my beautiful toddler he/she will regret for the rest of his/her life before attempting to lay their filthy hands on my kid.For how long is this stupid belief going to continue?Alot of albino kids are traumatised in Malawi and Tanzania because of this sick scenario.The authority should lay their heavy hands on these animals not worthy to be called human beings.This should stop immediately in Malawi.

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