The albinos who are born in East Africa are becoming more and more of an endangered specie as they are been hunted for their skin and body parts to be used in ‘magic ritual’.
They have being put under police and army protection. The Malawian President has ordered the police to kill anyone seen attacking the albinos while in the same vein, the Tanzanian Prime Minister has ordered the people to kill anyone caught with albino body parts. also in nearby Burundi, the albinos have been placed in special protection programs that allows them to be housed together with all round protection from the army as a deterrent to attackers.
According to local media reports, the inspector general of Malawian police, Lexen Kachama has given orders to; ‘Shoot every criminal who is violent when caught red-handed abducting people with albinism,’ said Kachama, adding that he was ordering police to use weapons in proportion to the crime.
“We cannot just watch while our friends with albinism are being killed like animals every day.
“We do realize that these people are ruthless, have no mercy and therefore they need to be treated just like that.”
These orders came following the attempted stranglation of a 16 year old albino boy. The Tanzanian Prime Minister in 2009 made similar statements.
The albino rights group has pointed out that killing these perpetrators will not deter others who are paid enough money to provide albino parts. Witch doctors pay as much as $75,000 for a full set of albino parts according to a red cross report. It is believed that spells cast based on their body parts bring good luck, wealth and love, hence the increasing rise in their hunt and black market prices. The UN reports that in the last six months, over 15 albinos have been killed with most of them being children.
The director of Under The Same Sun, a Canadian non-profit organisation defending albino rights, Vicky Ntetema stated that; ‘But we have to remember that all those goons caught red-handed … are small fish – agents and executors of the big sharks out there,’ she said. ‘Killing them on the spot is not going to help us catch the inducers, those with money to hire these gangs who continue to terrorize innocent people with albinism and their families.’
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Ntetema urged police in Malawi, Tanzania and Burundi to interrogate suspects so as to get vital information to infiltrate the albino killing ring. ‘We all need to unite and find the culprits who are hiding behind the killers … Why would people kill albinos if they were not asked to get their organs by someone?’ she said.
The situation has worsened in recent years and with elections coming up in tanzania this year, there is need for added protection as they are a much sought after ‘commodity’ which some politicians believe will bring them luck
The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Said Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein last month urged African governments to combat impunity for crimes against people with albinism.
Albinism is a congenital disorder which affects about one in 20,000 people worldwide, according to medical authorities. It is more common in sub-Saharan Africa and affects about one Tanzanian in 1,400.