*Imagine being hunted like an animal for your body parts. Imagine being a child and having this very real fear. Apparently, this atrocity is happening in Tanzania, where a six year old Albino boy had his hand chopped off with a machete and seven suspects have been arrested in connection with it. The attack was an intentional one, as being an albino is Tanzania and other noted countries has become dangerous.
Young Baraka Cosmas was sleeping in bed with his mother when the weekend attack happened. Bandits took off with the dismembered hand and the boys father was also arrested, while his two siblings were removed to a safer place.
Tanzania’s president Jakaya Kikwete had criticized the wave of attacks against albinos, whose body parts are used for witchcraft, only days earlier; calling the violent act a ‘disgusting and big embarrassment for the nation.’
Leons Rwegasira, deputy police chief in Tanzania’s southwestern Rukwa region said, ‘We have already arrested seven suspects… investigations are continuing.’
Police say the boy was sleeping at home with his mother in the village of Kipenda in the Rukwa region when a gang of assailants stormed in late Saturday. His hand was hacked off and both the boy and his mother were being treated in hospital.
UN human rights chief, Zeid Ra’ad al Husseinon said, ‘These attacks are often stunningly vicious, with children in particular being targeted’ today as he condemned the surge in attacks in east Africa on albinos, whose body parts are often used for witchcraft.
Said al Husseinon, ‘The violence has left many people with albinism “living in abject fear,”
‘Some no longer dare to go outside, and children with albinism have stopped attending school because of the recent spate of assaults, murders and kidnappings.’
According to a UN expert attacks on people with albinism have taken at least 75 lives since 2000, and that albino body parts sell for around $600, with an entire corpse fetching $75,000.
In the past six months, at least 15 people with albinism in Tanzania, Malawi and Burundi have been abducted, wounded, killed or escaped being kidnapped, including three such attacks in the past week alone.
The UN has warned that the upcoming presidential elections in October 2015, could be a reason why political campaigners may be turning to influential sorcerers to improve their odds.
Read more on this at ScallywagandVagabond.