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Monday, November 17, 2008

Recent Atrocities Against Albinos in Africa

As regular readers know, The OddBlog has been following the plight of albinos in Africa almost as long as we have been here (at this address). As more of the world and news agencies are becoming aware of the issue, more incidents are being reported. This weekend alone highlights the immediacy of the situation, with no fewer than three separate reports of abuse, death, and dismemberment coming to light.

As we continue to report, some 30 albinos have been murdered and dismembered in 2008 alone. The savages of the area believe albinos' body parts, hair, and blood to be useful ingredients in Occult rituals based loosely on witchcraft (not Wicca), while others believe albinos to be witches themselves. Many are killed at birth. These belief stems from charlatan witchdoctors of the region, who use the body parts in rituals purported to make the beneficiary rich. Tanzania is the epicenter of this holocaust, though it is spreading to the neighboring Congo and Burundi regions.

Even the president of the Tanzanian region was quoted as saying, "It is utterly stupid for some people to believe that albinos have magic powers and their parts can make them rich," while speaking at a recent Tanzanian Albino Society (TAS) rally. He called for more education to help cull the genocide.

According to a 2002 census, there are about 150k albinos in the region. Some 8,000 are registered with the TAS. The TAS and others claim the actual number of albinos in the region is higher and a census is underway to find out.

In the first report, a man was arrested for trying to sell his albino wife to Congolese traders in Tanzania. Notoriously corrupt, Tanzanian cops have been bought-off to ignore the plight of the albinos. Almost none of the traders, murderers, and traffickers have ever been caught or convicted. In this case, though the husband was arrested, the traders somehow managed to escape. In other cases where arrests have been made, the accused almost always manage somehow to slip away.

Last Friday, two mothers were hacked with machetes by gangs who were trying to get their albino children. The gangs did not find the children and the women are under medical care, recovering from their wounds. Again, none of the attackers have been brought to justice; local police claim they fled the area and a manhunt is underway, but no further information has come to light.

This morning brings yet another heartbreaking report: a six-year old girl was found dismembered in Burundi. Attacked on Sunday, the girl's limbs and head were missing. She is the sixth victim discovered so far from the region. Armed attackers broke into the family's home, bound the parents, and shot the baby point-blank in the head. The family has been part of a group of around 50 albinos who had fled the region, fearing for their daughter's safety.

Last week, a 10-year old albino girl was killed.

© C Harris Lynn, 2008

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