Thursday, September 16, 2010

Appetite for albino body parts continues unabated in Tanzania and Burundi

Several hand grenades are strategically launched at a simple homestead, a home where a mother and child with albinism live peacefully. The loud explosion rocks the family from their sleep. Nine armed men rapidly and forcefully engage in a savage rampage. Wielding machetes, they hack off all the limbs they can grab. Their sinister appetite for albino body parts is fueled by a lucrative trade linked to the practice of witchcraft in the region. Yet to be named, wealthy consumers (commonly referred to as “honorable”) keep this trade alive, believing it will yield them power and wealth. Once the wild, blood thirsty campaign of carnage stops, the murderers emerge with a bag full of fresh and bloody body parts, ready to quickly sell at a handsome profit. Twelve month old Fatma Mohammed displays the 10 centimeter long scar left by her attackers
The human toll is steep. Four year old Desire Vyegura has lost his life. The killers now have possession of his tongue, one of his eyes, one of his legs and an arm. Susanna Vyegura, his 28 year old albino mother now lays lifeless, with both legs and arms gone. Both of her breasts have also been violently chopped from her mutilated body. Her non-albino father bravely tried to stop the killers, but was overpowered and brutally murdered on the spot, according to Burundian Police Chief Deogratias Ntahompagaze.
A family – wiped out – within minutes – all to supply a sinister industry operating in the area.
On this battlefield stands East Africa’s people with albinism. Hundreds and Thousands of them living in a state of total fear. Afraid to sleep in their homes. Fearful to walk in their villages. Often unwilling to attend school for fear of threats and attack.
Under The Same Sun

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