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Monday, May 10, 2010

Albino Killings have to End

Article courtesy of Daily News newspaper, Tanzania

MORE incidents of albino killings continue to be reported in Tanzania and neighbouring Burundi, giving out signals that the shameful trade in their body parts has not waned despite local and international outrage.

Records show that at least 57 people with albinism were murdered in different parts of the country since 2007 and earlier this week, a 28 year-old albino woman and her four year-old son were killed at a village near the Burundi border with Tanzania.

The two victims had their limbs and organs hacked off by a gang and the boy's non-albino grandfather who intervened to stop them was killed on the spot.

Authorities in Burundi reportedly say there had been a total 14 murders in the central African country so far.

Analysts and human rights activists say these are only the documented cases as the numbers are likely to be much higher.

It is sad that more albinos are still being murdered after seven people linked to the practice were sentenced to death.

Various institutions including the government, religious organisations, media and other stakeholders have for the last three years been involved in public education campaign against the killings.

It is unfortunate that there are some people who believe that albino body parts can be used to concoct lucky or wealth-enhancing charms and killers on many occasions go for limbs, genitals, ears, nose and tongues.

Recent killings should now serve as a wake up call for people to be more vigilant and address the problem by stepping public education and interrogate thoroughly all suspects.

The government should see to it that cases pending in court must be disposed of as soon as possible so that any conviction would serve as a lesson that crime does not pay.

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