Monday, May 10, 2010

Witchcraft and barbarism in Africa

Attackers in Burundi chopped off the limbs of a 5-year-old albino boy and pulled out his mother's eye, killing them over the belief that their body parts would bring wealth and success. Those deaths and other recent attacks in Tanzania are part of long pattern of violence against African albinos. At least 10,000 have been displaced or gone into hiding since attacks against them spiked in late 2007. Since then, 57 albinos have been killed in Tanzania and 14 in Burundi. The killings are fueled by superstitious beliefs that human albino body parts will bring others wealth and success. Body parts are sought for their supposed miraculous powers and some use them as human sacrifice as advised by witch doctors. African albinos endure insults and segregation throughout their lives, and face greater discrimination than Western albinos because they live in darker-skinned communities. They also have a high risk of contracting skin cancer in a region where many jobs are outdoors. Ten assailants armed with guns and grenades killed Desire Vyegura, 5, and his mother, Susann Vyegura, in Burundi. Both victims had their limbs chopped off. Attackers also pulled out one of Desire's eyes and chopped off his mother's breasts. The attack took place in Cankunko village in the Cendajuru district, about 200 kilometers (125 miles) east of the capital city, Bujumbura. The market for albino parts exists mainly in Tanzania, where a complete set of body parts — including all limbs, genitals, ears, tongue and nose — can sell for $75,000. Albino children who are not killed at birth will often face discrimination, ridicule and stigmatization by family and friends. Mothers often refuse to breast-feed albino babies and husbands accuse women of sleeping with white Europeans, leading to divorces. In Africa most albino children are brought up by single mothers. Before the recent killings, five other albinos had been attacked in Tanzania since February 2010. One of those albinos died.


Sorcerers’ Butchery of Albinos Continues in Africa

1 comment:

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