Albino girl kidnap - Tanzania police arrest 15

2015-01-07 22:20
Mwajuma, an albino, stands in her home on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam. (Yasoyoshi Chiba, AFP)

Mwajuma, an albino, stands in her home on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam. (Yasoyoshi Chiba, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Arusha - Tanzanian police said on Wednesday they had arrested 15 people following the kidnap of an albino girl in the north of the country, where albino body parts are sold for witchcraft.

Three members of the four-year-old girl's family were among those arrested, including her father and two uncles, said Vicky Ntetema, from the Under The Same Sun group, which campaigns for rights for albinos.

Police have also given villagers five days to find Pendo Emmanuelle Nundi, who was snatched on 27 December from her home in the Mwanza region by attackers armed with machetes.

Top local government official Magesa Mulongo visited the village to appeal for information on the missing child.

"The whole world now considers the villagers as having no heart," Mulongo said, according to a local newspaper.

At least 74 albinos have been murdered in the east African country since 2000, according to United Nations experts. After a spike in killings in 2009, the government placed youngsters in children's homes in a desperate effort to defend them.

"When an albino is targeted, almost always neighbours or family members are involved," said Ntetema.

"Very few people have the courage to tell the police that a brother or uncle was involved in the kidnapping and murder of an albino, people are afraid of reprisals that might follow."

A hereditary genetic condition which causes a total absence of pigmentation in the skin, hair and eyes, albinism affects one Tanzanian in 1 400, often as a result of inbreeding, experts say. In the West, it affects just one person in 20 000.

In August a UN rights expert warned that attacks against albinos were on the rise because Tanzania's October 2015 presidential election was on the horizon, encouraging political campaigners to turn to influential sorcerers for support.

Albino body parts sell for around $600 in Tanzania, with an entire corpse fetching $75 000.

Read more on:    tanzania  |  east africa  |  kidnappings

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
16 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.