Tanzania Fear Over Albino Killing

BBC, December 17, 2007

Tanzania’s Albino Society has accused the government of turning a blind eye to the killing of albinos, after four deaths in the past three months.

An albino spokesman said there was a belief that the condition was the result of a curse put on the family.

Some witch-doctors also say they can use albino body parts in a potion to make people rich.

A teacher in the northern town of Arusha has been arrested for killing his own child, who was albino.

As well as the four killings, the body of an albino has also been exhumed. It was found with its limbs cut off.

The BBC’s Vicky Ntetma in Dar es Salaam says there is now fear in the albino community there.

Christopher Dadenekeye from the TAS said the witch-doctors must also be arrested.

Some people in Tanzania think albinos are a kind of ghost-like creature.

“We need to clear out all these beliefs,” Mr Dadenekeye said.

There are some 270,000 albinos among Tanzania’s population of some 35 million.

Old women with red eyes have been killed in parts of Tanzania in the past, after being accused of witchcraft but our correspondent says this is the first time that albinos have been targeted in ritual killings.

TAS also wants more help for albinos and says the condition should be treated as a disability.

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