Monday, February 18, 2013

Witchcraft and Violence in Tanzania


Tanzania boy assaulted in latest attack on albinos
A machete is stuck on a wood stump. Attackers collecting body parts of albinos for witchcraft have hacked off the hand of a seven-year old boy in Tanzania, the latest in a series of bloody assaults, officials said.
A machete is stuck on a wood stump. Attackers collecting body parts of albinos for witchcraft have hacked off the hand of a seven-year old boy in Tanzania, the latest in a series of bloody assaults, officials said.
AFP - Attackers collecting body parts of albinos for witchcraft have hacked off the hand of a seven-year old boy in Tanzania, the latest in a series of bloody assaults, officials said on Sunday.
"The boy was attacked on Saturday by three people as he walked home with his four school friends," said Apolinary Macheta, the local government leader in Tanzania's southwestern Milepa district.
The boy, Mwigulu Magessa, is recovering in hospital, Macheta added.
The attack came just days after an albino mother of four had her arm chopped off by machete-wielding men, with police on Saturday saying they had arrested five men after discovering the decomposing limb hidden in a field.
In Tanzania, albinos are killed and dismembered due to a widespread belief that charms made from their body parts bring good fortune and prosperity.
Albinism is a genetic condition characterised by a deficiency of melanin pigmentation in the skin, hair and eyes which protects from the sun's ultraviolet rays.
People suffering from the condition are discriminated against and persecuted in many African countries.
Last month an albino child died in Tanzania's Tabora region after attackers hacked off his arm with a machete.
Kijo Bisimba, of Tanzania's Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC) has said a rise in attacks is "alarming" and pointed to a renewed spate of assaults after what it said was months of calm.
Such ritual killings have also occurred in neighbouring Burundi and some of the attackers are suspected to be from Tanzania, where albino body parts can fetch thousands of dollars.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ghastly! I suppose some would excuse this as their culture. Enough of that. How about some good old common sense and teaching these people about the golden rule?

Anonymous said...

They should seek out GINGER haired people instead!!!

Eliza said...

I watched a documentary on this cruel "belief" and I was really shaken. I watched albinos say how people hunt them down, mutilate them, how they lost family members, that were viciously killed. Horrible. Something must be done.

Peter Hyatt said...

Eliza,

through many changes, various forms of "witchcraft" have always been associated with death, blood, and in particular, danger to children.