An Albino boy in East Africa
The body of a young albino boy has been found in a river on the Burundi-Tanzania border, completely dismembered, according to reports from the region. It appears that the boy was abducted from the Makamba province in Burundi by a gang that crossed the border, this was according to Kassim Kazungu, the head of Burundi’s albino association. Kassim Kazungu said the remains had been recovered from the Malagarazi river and has been given a formal burial. Kazungu said that Tanzanian police had arrested five people, although there was no official confirmation from Tanzania.
This wave of albino killings started around 2007, and it is said to have been fuelled by the sale of their highly-prized body parts to witch doctors across the region who use them to concoct wealth-enhancing charms. The body parts of Albino’s are prized in parts of Africa, with witch-doctors claiming they have special powers. In some parts of Eastern Africa, the body parts of people living with albinism are used by witch-doctors for potions which they tell clients will help make them rich or healthy. Hundreds of albinos have been killed, and the killings have spread to neighbouring Burundi. According to Tanzanian police estimates, the value to witch doctors of a complete set of albino body parts, including all four limbs, genitals, ears, nose and tongue, is worth about £50,000.
Albinism is a congenital lack of the melanin pigment in the skin, eyes and hair which protects from the sun’s ultraviolets. Albinos are vulnerable to medical complications as well as social discrimination in Africa. About 150,000 albinos in Tanzania, a country of some 35 million, some 8,000 are registered with the Tanzania Albino Society. It is reported that some families kill albino babies at birth to avoid discrimination. Albino’s are equal to each and every human being. They should not be discriminated against and should be given the same privileges accorded to us everywhere. It is inhuman to think otherwise. And those engaged in such barbaric practices should face the full penalty of the law wherever the crime is committed.
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