The United Nations (U.N.) has expressed concern over the resurgence of attacks and killings of persons with albinism in in Malawi following the abduction of Macdonald Masambuka, a young man with albinism in Machinga District, whose body was found on April 1, 2018 weeks after he was reported missing in early March.
The UN calls upon authorities to ensure a thorough, prompt and impartial investigations into the matter to bring the alleged perpetrators to justice.
“This is a setback to progress achieved since 2014. The UN calls upon all stakeholders to redouble their efforts to implement the National Action Plan, which addresses the root cause of attacks on persons with albinism, including a nationwide awareness raining campaign,” a UN statement made available to Nyasa Times on Wednesday said.
The UN expresses concern with rising cases of attacks, citing four people that have been attacked since January this year.
UN Resident Coordinator, Maria Jose Torres, said in the statement: “ If these measures are not put in place, we will continue registering violations of the rights of persons with albinism.”
Torres also expressed concern with reports that Police officer and a medical assistant are suspects in the abduction of Masambuka.
“We are concerned that persons entrusted with the responsibility of promoting and protecting the rights of all Malawians, including persons with albinism, are allegedly involved in the killing of Macdonald Masambuka,” reads the statement.
Many people with albinism are living in abject fear in Malawi.
The U.N. called on government to ensure the criminals behind the attacks are prosecuted.
The U.N. said it will remain committed to supporting the people of Malawi to ensure it deals with gangs roaming around, literally hunting down people with albinism simply to make money by cutting off their limbs and killing them.
The body of Masambuka, 22, who came from Nakawa Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Nkoola in Machinga, was found last Sunday buried within the district.
The murder of Masambuka brings the total number of persons with albinism killed to 22 since 2014.
Over nine cases of abductions have been reported where three of the cases have been recorded in the last four months.
Last month, a rights group, Human Rights Defenders (HRDs), accused the Malawi Police Service (MPS) of failing to successfully investigate cases of abductions and killings of people with albinism.
In a statement signed by the group’s chairperson Timothy Mtambo and his deputy Gift Trapence, the group said they were appalled at the rate at which attacks on persons with albinism continue to happen in the country.
The group called on government to accord the issue the attention and priority it deserves.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :