News24

Newborn albino abducted

2011-01-02 11:33

Bujumbura - Gangs with suspected links to Tanzanian witch doctors kidnapped a five-month-old albino girl and hacked off a young albino boy's arm in Burundi, officials said on Saturday.

"During the New Year night, bandits attacked a family on Vumwe hill in Kinyinya and abducted a newborn girl aged barely five months," said local justice official Nicodeme Gahimbare.

"They fled toward the nearby Tanzanian border. We fear the worst because we think they are attempting to cross into Tanzania to sell this newborn's limbs to witch doctors," said Kinyinya's top official, Gaston Gashirahamwe.

A boy also died after having his arm cut off by gunmen in central Burundi.

"Four bandits armed with rifles and machetes attacked a family with three albino children on the Gahweza hill" late on Thursday, top local official Joseph Ntahuga said.

Convictions


"They chopped off this 12-year-old boy's left arm before they were forced to flee by the screams of the family," he explained.

He said Ephraim Havyarimana died before an ambulance could rush him to hospital.

Two young albino boys were killed and dismembered in south-eastern and northern Burundi in October as authorities thought they had brought an end to a gruesome string of killings.

Albino murders in Burundi had until then occurred mainly in the eastern region of Ruyigi, near the border with Tanzania, where it is suspected the body parts are sold to witch doctors.

Burundi last year sentenced eight people found guilty of killing albinos and trading their body parts to prison terms ranging from one year to life.

The wave of killings started in Tanzania, where more than 60 albinos were murdered since 2007 and their limbs hacked off to be sold to witch doctors who concoct charms.

According to Kassim Kazungu, who chairs Burundi's albino society, the 12-year-old boy's death brings to 16 the number of albinos, mainly children, who were killed in his country since 2007.

State of terror

"Albinos in this country live in a permanent state of terror and with the fear of being murdered at any time. We ask the government to reinstate the death penalty for these cases," he said.

While Tanzania has killed, arrested and sentenced albino murderers, the police there have not found the end users of the witchcraft.

Beliefs attributing albinos special powers have long existed in the region but it is suspected that most the sorcerers' clients resort to charms made with albino limbs with the hope it will make them rich.

Comments
  • mlh@24.com - 2011-01-02 12:22

    Good grief!! How sad that this beautiful continent has so much barbarism..... stories like this, once again, shock one to the core!

  • The-truth - 2011-01-02 12:29

    Primative barbarics...

  • allie - 2011-01-02 13:06

    My black friends,what sort of mentality cuts an arm off a little boy for superstitious shit? who throws a fridge from a ten story building into a crowd of your own people or a stone from a bridge onto an oncoming car? Then i still read these vanimous hatefilled blogs you write?Why not take the bible under the arm and go talk to these heathens?After all they are your people.

      Allan - 2011-01-02 13:33

      No Allie, if you live and work in Africa they are OUR people. WE must help sort out the problem. If governments continually refuse to bring back the death sentence I recommend vigilante action. Hunt down these killers like the animals they are and get rid of them. Only a coward attacks a defenceless child. Allan

  • Fran - 2011-03-19 21:03

    :-(

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