Mali: another ritual murder in Fana

The town of Fana has a bad reputation. Reportedly, in less than four years, eight ritual murders have been committed in this small town, located some 80 miles (125 km) from the nation’s capital Bamako. This time the victim was a retired soldier, who was brutally murdered. In the night of June 9 to 10 (Tuesday – Wednesday), the murderer or murderers attacked him in his house and sliced his throat savagely. Bakary Sagaré was 50+ years old when he died. 

Was it really a ritual murder? The authorities have not disclosed any details on his untimely and cruel death. Hence, no motive is known. But the inhabitants of Fana are fed up with these cruel murders. They point at certain well-known witch doctors (féticheurs) who are suspected of being involved in these atrocious acts which claim the lives of innocent people, sometimes small children. Like little Djeneba Diarra, a 5-year old albino girl who was snatched from her mother and brutally killed for ritualistic purposes in 2018.

If the authorities fail to apprehend the killers, the danger exists that the population will take the law into their own hands, but mob justice may aggravate Mali’s numerous problems. In the north and centre of the country, terrorists and Tuareg separatists have been challenging the authority of the government of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita (IBK) since the disastrous military coup of captain Sanogo in 2012. Recently, a huge manifestation in Bamako showed the dissatisfaction and anger of the population, tired of the growing insecurity in the country. The growing unpopularity of the once very popular Keita may even further endanger Mali’s political stability. Rumors about an intervention of the military have already started to circulate. Certainly interesting developments which merit to be monitored closely. in the meantime, the inhabitants of Fana hope that the criminals responsible for the murder of Bakary Sagaré will be arrested and put on trial.

The original articles are in French and are shown below (webmaster FVDK). 

Crime rituel : une pratique à la vie dure à Fana
Ritual murder: a persistent phenomenon in Fana
Published: June 11, 2020
By: Bamada.net – Le Mali dans le Web

Les habitants de la ville de Fana se sont encore réveillés avec un crime devant leur porte, l’assassinat Bakary Sangaré âgé de plus de 50 ans. C’est un militaire à la retraite, dit-on. Il a été égorgé chez lui dans la nuit de ce mardi au mercredi 10 juin. C’est le 8e crime du genre dans cette ville où la petite albinos a été également tuée. Pour l’instant, aucune information officielle n’est donnée sur les raisons de ce crime, sur son ou ses auteurs. En attendant sur Facebook, la nouvelle endeuille et les messages de compassion et de condoléances pleuvent.

Pour d’autres, c’est l’occasion d’en finir définitivement avec cette pratique. Et pour cela, l’État doit s’assurer en prenant en main la sécurité de la population. Ces actes montrent combien, les populations sont exposées face à des bandits, à des auteurs de crimes rituels. Pour eux, c’est un signe de la faillite de l’Etat face à sa responsabilité de protéger les populations et de leurs biens. Encore, c’est la faute aux autorités incompétentes et corrompues, pestent de nombreux internautes.

En revanche, d’autres estiment que c’est un travail qui doit se faire en synergie entre la population et les autorités pour venir à bout de ces actes cruels dans cette ville. Parce qu’ils accusent que ce sont des charlatans connus de tous dans la ville qui sont à la base de ce crime.

(….)

Comments of readers / Commentaires des lecteurs :

Konimba Sidibé : Fana dans le cercle de Dioila au Mali en deuil à nouveau : les coupeurs de têtes ont encore sévi hier soir pour la huitième fois en moins de 4 ans (dont le cas de Ramata la petite albinos arrachée des mains de sa maman à leur domicile). Bakary Sangare est leur nouvelle victime.
Peu de progrès ont été faits dans l’identification et le châtiment des criminels et leurs complices : les populations doutent fortement que l’Etat ait pris le problème au sérieux et se sentent abandonnées à leur triste sort. Cri de cœur pour libérer Fana de cette insécurité morbide !!! Que l’âme des victimes repose en paix.

Yacouba Aliou Toure : C’est une honte pour le monde du troisième millénaire. Dans la loi islamique, la sentence pour le magicien de couper sa tête à l’épée. Il ne sera pas enseveli, il n’est pas aussi enterré dans le cimetière des musulmans. La magie est la chose la plus horrible sur la Terre. Qu’Allah nous en garde. Amine.

LASSINA DEMBELE ALÉAS TEACHER : une situation séculaire insaisissable depuis la nuit des temps à Fana et environnants… Ce crime crapuleux perpétré hier à Fana le 09/06/2020 ; le corps d’un homme sans vie a été retrouvé décapité par des personnes non identifiées. Ce n’est pas une première fois que ces genres de scènes scandaleuses et hystériques se passent encore à fana semant la panique et de la désolation à la population civile de fana et environnant. Cette situation reste sans solution depuis des décennies à Fana. Les autorités compétentes judiciaires et la population civile de la ville doivent conjuguer leurs forces afin de mettre la lumière sur les Criminels auteurs de ces crimes crapuleux de Coupeurs des têtes.

Zanze Bouare : triste comme nouvelle, on doit sévir contre ces criminels. Il n’y a pas d’autorité au Mali.

Dramane Kélépily : l’arrivée de la police n’a rien servi à Fana que Dieu bénisse la ville et qu’il fasse démasquer les coupables, Paix à l’âme du disparu. Honte aux autorités incompétentes et corrompues !!

Bourama Keita : Sans la collaboration de la population, les autorités ne peuvent rien faire. Tous unis, nous pourrons mettre fin à ça. Mes sincères condoléances aux familles des disparus.

Mamadou Barry : Tout le monde sait que ce n’est pas un terroriste qui a commis le forfait. C’est bien un charlatan. Ils sont connus de tous à Fana. Paix à son âme.

Bafing Sangaré : la question que je voulais savoir, c’est pourquoi toujours à Fana ? La situation est de plus en plus inquiétante vraiment…

Awa Sidibé : Il y a certainement à Fana des tueurs protégés qui ne craignent rien d’où ces crimes à répétitions.

Abdoul Karim Niambélé : C’est triste. Je compatis à la douleur des parents des victimes. Que le Tout Puissant les accueille parmi ses Élus dans son paradis. Et pendant ce temps, on crie sous tous les toits que nous sommes en sécurité. Que Dieu sauve le Mali.

Thomas Seydou Doumbia : Allah akbar, paix a son âme. Je remarque à chaque fois qu’il y a un événement politique, il aboutit à un crime à Fana à nous de chercher la vraie raison.

Molière Sidibé : Vraiment, c’est dépassé, il est temps qu’il y ait une implication avec rigueur pour mettre fin à ces drames.

Tidiani Konate : En réalité, le Mali vit actuellement dans une situation d’impasse. Notre sort dépend de notre visibilité, notre mobilité, car les membres de ce gouvernement ne se soucient plus des peuples, mais seulement de leurs places. Que Dieu libère Banico en particulier et le Mali en général.

Dioba Dembélé : vraiment, on va de mal en pis, il faut que la population s’implique davantage au côté des autorités pour la sécurité définitive de la zone.

Abdoulaye S. Dembele : Dioba Dembélé, penses-tu que la population ainsi que les autorités veulent la fin de cette barbarie ? J’en doute. Sinon, on n’allait pas arriver là.

Another article on the same murder:

Crime odieux à Fana (Cercle de Diola) : Un ancien militaire décapité dans son domicile
A heinous crime in Fana, Diola Cercle: a retired soldier beheaded in his residence
Published: June 11, 2020
By: Bamada.net – Le Mali dans le Web – Abdoul Karim Sanogo

Au Mali, principalement dans les localités de Fana (cercle de Diola), les coupeurs de tête pour des rituels humains ne cessent de surprendre la paisible population par ces actes démoniaques. Cette fois, c’est un homme d’âge avancé du nom de Bakary Sangaré, (ancien militaire) qui a été décapité dans son domicile. Cet acte barbare et lâche s’est passé dans la nuit du mardi 10 juin au 11 juin dernier dans la même localité de Fana dans le cercle de Diola.

En effet, la population de la ville de Fana s’est réveillée avec une mauvaise nouvelle. Suite à la découverte macabre du corps sans vie d’un ancien militaire du nom de Bakary Sangaré, qui a été froidement assassiné. Les malfrats ont tranché sa tête de la manière la plus cynique, avant d’abandonner le reste du corps. Selon les témoignages des habitants, le défunt Bakary, ancien militaire qui vivait seul chez lui a été froidement tué par des hommes inconnus. (Huitième fois en moins de 4 ans dont le cas de Ramata la petite albinos arrachée des mains de sa maman à leur domicile).

Une enquête est ouverte par les forces locales en collaboration avec le juge d’instruction de Fana pour traquer les malfrats et leurs complices continuent à semer la terreur et la psychose dans la ville de Fana. Face à cette situation (…)

The same article, by the same author Abdul Karim Sanogo, was published by the Malian daily MaliKonokow. The link follows here (webmaster FVDK). 

Mali:
Crime odieux à Fana (Cercle de Diola) un ancien militaire décapité dans son domicile !
A heinous crime in Fana, Diola Cercle: a retired soldier beheaded in his residence!
Published: June 11, 2020
By: MaliKonokow – Abdul Karim Sanogo

Au Mali, principalement dans les localités de Fana (cercle de Diola), les coupeurs de tête pour des rituels humains ne cessent de surprendre la paisible population par ces actes démoniaques. Cette fois, c’est un homme d’âge avancé du nom de Bakary Sangaré, (ancien militaire) qui a été décapité dans son domicile. Cet acte barbare et lâche s’est passé dans la nuit du mardi 10 juin au 11 juin dernier dans la même localité de Fana dans le cercle de Diola.

(Etc)

Another article on the same murder, dated June 10, 2020:

Crime odieux à Fana : Un ancien militaire égorgé chez lui
Heinous crime in Fana: a retired soldier brutally killed at his home
Published: June 10, 2020
By: Mali Jet – Gaoussou Kanté

Les populations de la paisible ville de Fana ont eu un réveil brutal. Ce matin, suite à la découverte macabre du corps sans vie d’un ancien militaire du nom de Bakary Sangaré, qui a été froidement assassiné. En effet, les malfrats ont tranché sa tête de la manière la plus cynique, avant d’abandonner le reste du corps.

D’après les témoignages des habitants, le défunt Bakary, ancien militaire qui vivait seul chez lui a été froidement tué par des hommes inconnus.

Quant à la gendarmerie de Fana, les responsables ont affirmé ne vouloir rien dire avant la fin des enquêtes.

«Pour l’instant, nous ne pouvons rien dire à qui que ce soit avant la fin des enquêtes. Nous sommes sur les enquêtes en collaboration avec le juge d’instruction de Fana. Nous attendons que tous les éléments soient réunis pour nous prononcer sur cette affaire. Tout ce que je peux vous dire, c’est que nous avons constaté le cadavre d’un homme comme vous le voyez sur les réseaux sociaux et les enquêtes sont en cours», a déclaré le Capitaine de la Brigade gendarmerie à Fana.

A suivre !

The Malian daily Mali Actu published the same text. It is not known which article appeared first, maybe Mali Jet’s article, which has been reproduced above, signed with the author’s name, Gaoussou Kanté (webmaster FVDK).

Crime odieux à Fana : un ancien militaire égorgé chez lui
Heinous crime in Fana: a retired soldier brutally killed at his home
Published: June 10, 2020
By: Mali Actu

Les populations de la paisible ville de Fana ont eu un réveil brutal. Ce matin, suite à la découverte macabre du corps sans vie d’un ancien militaire du nom de Bakary Sangaré, qui a été froidement assassiné. En effet, les malfrats ont tranché sa tête de la manière la plus cynique, avant d’abandonner le reste du corps.

(Etc)

The town of Fana has a special, bad reputation in Mali. In less than four years, eight suspected cases of ritual murders occurred in this small town, located half-way between the nation’s capital Bamako and Ségou.

Zambia: body of murdered albino still unclaimed

The article below is a follow-up to another article by the same reporter, Chris Phiri, in the same newspaper, Zambia Reports, which was earlier published on March 26, 2020 (my posting of March 29, 2020). 

Though I haven’t included the comments of readers below, it’s worth reading what the readers think about this disgusting murder and the Zambian police authorities (see the original article – webmaster FVDK).

Body Of Murdered Albino Still Unclaimed

Picture not related to news story 

Published: April 5, 2020
By: Chris Phiri – Zambia Reports

The Eastern Province police command has expressed concern over the delay by the relatives of an albino who was found dead without some body parts on March 24. The body was without a tongue, arms and eyes.

Provincial police Commissioner Luckson Sakala said the body had remained unclaimed and is currently at Chipata Central Hospital mortuary.

Mr. Sakala said police suspect that the deceased was taken from somewhere and was just dumped in Chipata. He is appealing to members of the public who could be missing a relative to come forward and identify the body.

The body of the deceased was found near Yamene Farms along the Chipata/Lundazi road.

Source: Body Of Murdered Albino Still Unclaimed

Zambia: body of albino found in Chipata with missing tongue, arms and eyes

A gruesome murder in Chipata, Eastern Province, Zambia.

It is not the first time that the Eastern Province is in the news with an attack on a person with albinism. Also last year, in 2019, the province made headlines with the murder of an albino. Often, Zambians point an accusing finger to neighboring Malawi when a mutilated body of an albino is found. However, just recently, in January of the current year, a prominent Zambian, MDD president Dr Nevers Mumba, alleged that ritual killings are common in Zambia and have always happened towards elections. 

Incumbent president Edgar Lungu is facing a presidential election in 2021. The ruling Patriotic Front (PF) party is split into two camps over his candidature whereas of course also the opposition has its own presidential candidate. (webmaster FVDK). 

Body of albino found in Chipata with missing tongue, arms and eyes

Picture not related to the murder in this news story.

Published: March 26, 2020
By: Zambia reports – Chris Phiri 

POLICE in Chipata have picked up a dead body of an albino without a tongue, arms and eyes.

Eastern Province Police Commissioner Lackson Sakala said police recoverd the body at Yamene farms along the Chipata/Lundazi road yesterday.

Mr. Sakala said the incident occurred between 15 hours and 17 hours adding that the deceased was found in a maize field at a distance of about 60 metres from the Chipata/Lundazi Road.

He said when police officers visited the scene of the suspected murder they discovered that some body parts were missing.

“After inspecting the body they discovered that the following body parts were missing; there was no tongue in the mouth, the tongue was cut, both eyes were removed and both arms were also removed by way of amputation. The victim at the time he met his untimely death was wearing a jean trousers, red t-shirt and black shoes,” Mr Sakala said.

He said the body had since been deposited in Chipata Central Hospital Mortuary awaiting postmortem.

“May I appeal to those that may miss their relative, an albino to come through so that they identify this unknown albino who was murdered yesterday. As police we have actually instituted investigations into this gruesome murder,” Mr Sakala said.

Copyright © 2020 ZR.

Source: Body Of Albino Found In Chipata With Missing Tongue, Arms And Eyes

Chipata (eastern Zambia)

Democratic Republic of Congo: albino woman reveals kidnapper wanted to kill her and use her bones in witchcraft

With 2.4 million square kilometers, at least 250 ethnic and language groups and a total population of nearly 100 million people, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is one of Africa’s giants. The following map illustrates the real size of the DRC.

The number of people living with albinism in the DRC is unknown, but they are a vulnerable group, sometimes hunted down as animals, like in neighboring Central and Southern African countries. In the article below an albino woman, Lisa, narrates her story, how she escaped from being murdered. She was also sexually abused. Lisa lives in a remote area of South Kivu, an administrative region bordering Rwanda and Burundi. Much of the article focuses on sexual violence and unfortunately Lisa’s experiences are shared by many other women in the DRC.

People living with albinism are discriminated and enjoy even less protection from the State than other Congolese citizens. Superstition, witchcraft, lack of protection, human rights violations, ritual murder, sexual abuse. Read Lisa’s story and shiver.  (webmaster FVDK).

Sex abuse survivor reveals kidnapper wanted to kill her and use her bones in witchcraft

Lisa – an albino who lacks pigmentation in her hair, eyes and skin – tells the Record how a man lured her away from home in the Congo so he could murder her and perform magic rituals with her remains.

Survivor Lisa was abducted by a man who wanted to use her bones in witchcraft rituals (Image: simon murphy)

Published: February 24, 2020
By: Daily Record UK – Stephen Stewart

He wanted to butcher her and use her bones in magic ceremonies.

Sexual abuse survivor Lisa – an albino who lacks pigmentation in her hair, eyes and skin – is quietly telling how a man wooed her, expressing his undying love before luring her away from home to murder her and perform rituals with her remains.

Her delicate features remain impassive as she recounts her horrific ordeal. Her condition – which affects the production of melanin, the pigment that colours skin, hair and eyes – can be a gruesome death sentence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

The Daily Record and Sunday Mail have run a series of hard-hitting stories this week after we travelled there to uncover the reality for women in the country once dubbed the “rape capital of the world”.

According to the Home Office, 40 per cent of women in the area we visited – South Kivu –   have suffered sexual violence.

Before she was kidnapped, Lisa had already suffered. The 22-year-old has one child born of rape. She was attacked when she was 18 as she worked in the fields around her village.

Often, women like Lisa have to be treated in poorly-equipped hospitals where doctors have to perform gynaecological surgery using the light of their mobile phones thanks to the frequent power cuts.

She said: “I was in the field working when I was raped. A man came and forced himself on me and I got pregnant. I gave birth to a boy. At first, when he was born, he was unwell but now he is fine and I love him very much.”

In DRC, there are many mothers who became pregnant after being attacked.

In the eyes of the law, their children do not exist but, thanks to SCIAF, Scotland’s Catholic international aid agency, they can now get a birth certificate, which gives them access to healthcare and education.

Lisa, who lives in a remote area of South Kivu, added: “Albino people like me are often discriminated against here. There are people who say that albinos can work magic. People point at me in the village and say bad things.

“One day, a man came to my village and he was very nice to me. He said he had fallen in love with me and he talked me into going on the bus with him to the city of Bukavu. He took me to a house and left me there.

“Another man came and asked me if I knew the other man. I had to admit that I didn’t really know him that well. It was then that he told me the other man was bad and trafficked albino people.

“He wanted to kill me and use my bones in witchcraft. I left as soon as I could and went back to my own village. Things are better now. I did not go to school and I can’t read or write but I would like my boy to study and do great things.”

Lisa has been supported by the generosity of Scottish people through SCIAF, which supports local projects promoting women’s rights, gender equality and provides services to the survivors of sexual and gender-based violence.

Gran Sylvia, 41, is another woman who has survived sexual abuse and is now receiving support through SCIAF.

She was abducted by rebel gangs and had to leave behind her two-month-old baby.

She was forced to become the “wife” of a rebel commander and was abducted for four years. During this time, her baby and mother had died and her husband had remarried.

She was left traumatised and now receives counselling, seeds, tools and training in how to grow food to feed the family and sell any surplus.

Sylvia said: “They made me walk and they hit me on the back with the butt of their guns. I left everything. If you said you were tired, they would say, ‘OK, you want to rest?’ and they would shoot you.

“I saw two people shot like this. We were all afraid. Those who refused to have sex were killed and their bodies fed to the pigs. I saw so many people die.

“This life was the worst.”

Thanks to the support of Scots through SCIAF, things have turned around. She added: “The counselling helped very much. After this, I still felt hurt but not as badly as before.

“I say, show me the one who brought this programme here and I could kiss them. Whenever I hear SCIAF is visiting, I feel happy.”

SCIAF funds medical care and surgery for women who have suffered sexual violence.

The rape epidemic means that doctors at Katana hospital are now world experts in fistula surgery despite the basic conditions.

Dr Michael Chanikire, 38, said: “When I work with these women, I think they could be my mother, wife or sister. It hurts to see people hurt in these ways. They are often traumatised by their suffering.

“I have worked in Europe and one of the main medical issues there is cancer but here we see a lot of fistula problems caused by the trauma of rape and sexual violence. There are times when we have no electricity and we have to use the lights on our mobile phones to perform surgery.

“Women fear coming here as there are many rebels in the area and they will know she has come for treatment and they know she will be asked about what has happened to her.

“Sometimes, it feels like we doctors have come through hell dealing with the things we have to do. It is rewarding too, though. My mother sees me wearing my white coat and she feels so proud of me.

“She knows I am doing my best to help women and that makes her very happy.”

Source: Sex abuse survivor reveals kidnapper wanted to kill her and use her bones in witchcraft

Zambia: Chief Ndake calls for urgent meeting following killing of male albino

This is the second murder within a short period of time.  

It is being alleged that Eastern Province has so far recorded the highest number of ritualistic murder cases (….). Zambia Albino Foundation president John Chiti stated that he suspects the province is recording a lot of cases because of the border with Malawi. “Something could be going on regarding the selling of body parts from one country to the other,” he said.

Maybe he’s right. However, it is common to blame foreigners when crimes are committed whereas the perpetrators of these heinous crimes, attacks on people with albinism, mutilating or murdering them for muti purposes, are often Zambians (webmaster FVDK).

Published: November 6, 2019
By: Christopher Mtii 

CHIEF Ndake of the Nsenga people in Nyimba district has called for an urgent meeting with his indunas and village headmen following the brutal killing of an albino man last Thursday.

And Anglican Diocese of Eastern Zambia Bishop William Mchombo has called on the government to come up with strong intervention with traditional doctors to dispel the myth that albino body parts can bring immediate success in terms of wealth.

Meanwhile, Zambia Albino Foundation president John Chiti has expressed concern at the increase in albino killings in Eastern Province.

Gift Tembo, 39 of Abraham village, was murdered by unknown people around 01:00 hours on October 31.

Eastern Province deputy police commissioner Geoffrey Kunda confirmed the incident, saying Tembo’s throat was cut and his body dumped few metres from his house.

Commenting on the matter, chief Ndake said there was need for the local community to find ways of protecting people living with albinism.

“This is very devastating to me and the entire chiefdom. I will soon call for an urgent meeting with village head persons and indunas so that we find ways on how we can protect people living with albinism. If they are targeted like this then there is need for us as a community to find ways on how we can protect them,” he said.

Chief Ndake appealed to people to be on the lookout for those who were killing albinos.

“Those who have tips regarding the people who are killing albinos should come forward and report because it will not help us to hide these people. We don’t know what government can do so that we assist these people because it’s like albinos are on wanted list,” he said.

Ndake said Tembo was put to rest on Sunday.

“This is a very sad story. This young man who was staying alone struggled with his attackers. When the family members heard the deceased screaming, they went to check. They found that the attackers had carried the deceased and were running away with him,” he said. 

“So when the relatives gave chase, the attackers dumped the body and ran away. Upon checking the body, the family members discovered that the deceased had been stabbed with a knife and his throat was cut off. This is sad and up to now we are deeply shocked because this is the second incident to have happened in the area within a short period of time,” he said.

Chief Ndake described the killing as cold blooded and unfortunate.

He said during Tembo’s funeral on Sunday, he pleaded with people to work together and end such killings.

Commenting on the incident, Bishop Mchombo said Tembo’s killing was unfortunate.

“This is very unfortunate. I think this has to do with the ritual killing where people believe that parts of an albino can bring them immediate success in terms of wealth, which is a myth. It’s not true,” he said.

“I think the sooner that is addressed, the better especially if government can bring about strong interventions with traditional doctors. This is where the whole thing come from because that’s what people are told, that when you do such a thing then you will be a rich person.” 

Bishop Mchombo also called for more sensitisation on albinos.

“These are human beings and should be appreciated as they are. It’s just a deficient of some scientific proven attributes that make them the way they look but in terms of humanity they are as good as anybody else and they should be left alone and do what they want,” he said. “My advice is that let there be serious interventions from government and if people are found in such situations, the perpetrators of such heinous crimes let there be rules that will deter other people from committing similar crimes.”

Bishop Mchombo said the church and other stakeholders should ensure that they bring about awareness on matters relating to albinos who were also created in the image of God.

And Chiti said his foundation would contact Tembo’s family to see the kind of support it could provide.

“It is always a sad moment when we hear such news, we are saddened by the loss. What we are trying to do is to get in touch with the family and see what kind of support and anything else that can be done. We strongly condemn such killings. We just appeal to the relevant authorities to make sure that the culprits are brought to book,” he said.

Chiti also advised families with albinos to be careful because their lives were at risk.

“Eastern Province has so far recorded the highest number of cases, so it is a source of concern to us. We suspect the province is recording a lot of cases because of the border with Malawi. Something could be going on regarding the selling of body parts from one country to the other,” said Chiti.

Police have since arrested several people in connection with Tembo’s murder.

Source: Chief Ndake calls for urgent meeting following killing of male albino

Malawi government allocates 400 million Malawi Kwacha to people with albinism

Good news.

This site is meant to expose the atrocities committed by persons who believe in superstition, who violate the law, and to draw attention to the – often – lack of action by national governments. Lack of action, to protect their citizens, and lack of action to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators of ritualistic murders and related crimes.
This time I have good news: the Malawian government has allocated 400 million Malawi Kwacha (about US$ 536,000) of its 2019/2010 national budget to the welfare and protection of its citizens who live with albinism. The budgetary allocation is to be seen in light of Malawi’s Four Year National Action Plan on Persons With Albinism which the government announced last year (June), following a spate of atrocities against people with albinism.
Of course, the good news does not mean that we can lean back and be less alert on possible lack of action of the Malawian government when it comes to protecting its albino citizens. But the budgetary allocation and the National Four Year Plan are steps in the right direction for which the Malawi government of President Mutharika is to be commended.
(webmaster FVDK).

Published: September 15, 2019
By: Ghana News

Malawi government has allocated 400 million Malawi Kwacha (about 536,000 U.S. dollars) of its 2019/2020 national budget to the welfare and protection of country’s persons with albinism.

Country’s Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Joseph Mwanamvekha disclosed on Monday at the New Parliament Building in the capital Lilongwe where he presented the 2019/2020 national budget.

In the recent past, the Southern African country has been faced with barbaric acts of violence on persons with albinism, including killing, dismembering and exhuming their bodies for ritual beliefs.

Following the atrocities against the persons with albinism, the Malawi government June last year developed a four year National Action Plan on Persons With Albinism which was designed to guide efforts of dealing with the challenges.

Mwanamvekha said the allocation was meant to help in the successful implementation of the Action Plan.

In addition to this allocation, 600 million Malawi Kwacha under the Decent and Affordable Housing Project has been earmarked for the construction of houses for persons with albinism.

The National Action Plan on Persons With Albinism focuses on all aspects of life including education, health, economic activity, protection from abuse and human rights. 

Source: Malawi government allocates over US$500k to albinism patients

Malawi appoints commission to probe albino killings

Almost six months ago, in early March 2019,  President Peter Mutharika ordered an investigation into the killing and maltreatment of people living with albinism in Malawi.

I will check the outcome of the work of the commission created AND the follow-up to its report. Subsequently, I will inform the readers of this site.

To be continued (webmaster FVDK).

United Nations’ Independent Expert on the Enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism Ikponwosa Ero addresses a press conference at the end of her official visit to Malawi on April 29, 2016. – Malawi’s estimated 10000 albinos “are an endangered group facing a risk of systematic extinction over time if nothing is done to stem the tide of atrocities,” a UN expert warned on today. Ikponwosa Ero, a UN independent expert told journalists at the end of her 12-day assessment of rights of albinos in Malawi that the situation “constitutes an emergency, a crisis disturbing in its proportions.” She said according to police, 65 cases of attacks, abductions and murders of albinos have been recorded since end of 2014. (Photo by Amos Gumulira / AFP)

Published: March 8, 2019
By: News Central (Nigeria)

Malawi has experienced a surge in violent attacks on people with albinism over the past four years.

Malawi’s president, Peter Mutharika, on Friday appointed a commission of inquiry to probe a spate of attacks, abductions and killings of people with albinism. The panel, headed by retired Supreme Court judge Robert Chinangwa, will submit its report to Mutharika by April 30, the president’s office said.

The announcement came after mounting criticism of Mutharika for his response to the attacks. The Association of People with Albinism has been staging a vigil in the capital Lilongwe and says it will contact foreign embassies in a bid to seek refuge. Around 200 albinos, joined by 500 sympathisers, marched to the presidential palace on Wednesday.

Malawi, has experienced a surge in violent attacks on people with albinism over the past four years. In many cases, those with albinism are targeted for their body parts to be used in witchcraft.

In a June 2018 report, rights group Amnesty International said that since November 2014 there had been 148 crimes reported against people with albinism, with at least 21 deaths.
(italics added by the webmaster FVDK). Just 30 percent of those attacks have been properly investigated, according to official statistics, with only one murder and one attempted murder case successfully prosecuted.

Of the 600 cases of violence against albinos in 28 African countries, Malawi accounted for nearly a third.

Albinism, a genetic disorder, causes a partial or total absence of pigmentation in the skin, hair and eyes. As a result, many albinos often experience eye problems and have a heightened risk of skin cancer.

Source: Malawi appoints commission to probe albino killings

Malawi election: Albino killings, the president’s fake death and five more things

I’ve highlighted the fear of people with albinism in Malawi – in general but notably during elections campaigns – on more than one occasion. See my previous postings (click ‘Malawi’ in the dropdown menu under ‘African countries’ and scroll through the articles). On May 21 general elections were held to elect the President, National Assembly and local government councillors. Incumbent President Peter Mutharika of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) successfully ran for a second term in office though the election results were contested by the opposition and led to much protests, supporters of the opposition accusing President Butharika and Jane Ansah – the chair of the Malawi Electoral Commission – of election rigging. Be that as it may, once more it became clear that the position of Malawians living with albinism is difficult and not without dangers, notably during election periods, as the author of the article states. I have left out the political paragraphs of this article which are not relevant for the purpose of this website, but readers interested in the political background of the fight for the presidency are recommended to consult the original article (see Source, below). 
(webmaster FVDK)

President Peter Mutharika (right) is facing a stiff challenge from Lazarus Chakwera (left) and Saulos Chilima (centre)

Published: May 20, 2019
By Chakuchanya Harawa (BBC Africa)

Nearly seven million Malawians will have the chance to vote for a new president on 21 May in one of the most unpredictable elections in the country’s history.

(….)

7. Murder of people with albinism

Another issue that has dominated the campaigns is a spate of attacks on people with albinism ahead of the vote. 

There is anxiety in presidential circles that the issue could damage the DPP’s chances. 

A UN report suggested that attacks and killings of people with albinism increase during election periods “because of false beliefs that their body parts can bring good luck and political power when used in witchcraft related rituals”. 

Recently, a key suspect in the abduction of a person with albinism died while in police custody. 

An independent forensic autopsy revealed he had been electrocuted, raising fears among some Malawians that powerful people could be behind the attacks. 

Opposition parties accuse the Mutharika administration of not doing enough to stop the attacks. 

The president disputes this and appointed a commission of inquiry to investigate the killings.

(….)

Source: Malawi election: Albino killings, the president’s fake death and five more things

IBAHRI denounces death sentence delivered against three in Malawi

Reference is made to a recent court decision to sentence three individuals to death for killing and dismembering a person with albinism in August 2015. See my August 20, 2019 posting for more details (‘Malawi judge sentences three to death for albinism murder.‘) According to research carried out by the Cornell Law School, Malawi operates a moratorium on the death penalty and last carried out an execution in 1992 (webmaster FVDK).

A man was sentenced to death in Malawi for killing an albino teenager

Published: August 23, 2019
By: Our reporter (The Maravi Post)

The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) is deeply concerned about the recent decision in Malawi to sentence three individuals to death for killing and dismembering a person with albinism in August 2015. The IBAHRI fully supports the enjoyment of all rights by persons with albinism and recognises the challenges Malawi is facing in curbing the heinous attacks against persons with albinism. Despite this, the IBAHRI maintains that the death penalty is not the solution to preventing such odious crimes and goes against the international trend towards its abolition.

IBAHRI Co-Chair, the Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG, commented: ‘To stop the commission of crimes against human rights, penalties that violate the same fundamental rights cannot be imposed. Attacks against persons with albinism must end, but the punishment that the perpetrators should face must respect international human rights law. We exhort the Malawi government to revise this judgement.’

On Tuesday 14 August 2019, at the High Court in the Mchinji district, Central Malawi, Judge Esmey Chombo passed death sentences on three individuals: Douglas Mwale, Sophie Jere and Fontino Folosani – who were found guilty of murdering and mutilating Priscott Pepuzani, who had albinism, in August 2015. In her ruling, Judge Chombo said the death sentences would send a strong message to other would-be offenders and put an end to such malpractices.

Since 1992, Malawi has had a moratorium on the death penalty, and the mandatory death penalty for murder was eliminated in 2007. African regional standards established by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, including General Comment No.3 on the right to life, Resolutions 42 and 136, as well as the Cotonou Declaration on the Abolition of the Death Penalty in Africa , call on State Parties to move towards the abolition of the death penalty. Nevertheless, this is not the first time in recent years that the death penalty has been imposed for this kind of crime. In May 2019, Willard Mikaele was sentenced to death for the murder of Mphatso Pensulo, another person with albinism.

In the denunciation of this recent judgement, the IBAHRI reiterates its recognition of the difficult situation for people with albinism, which is particularly worrying in Malawi and other countries of the region due to frequent ritual killings and trading of body parts. In its 2018 report ‘Waiting to disappear’ International and Regional Standards for the Protection of the Human Rights of Persons with Albinism , the IBAHRI suggests that the legal protection of the rights of persons with albinism needs to be dramatically improved.

The IBAHRI condemns all attacks against persons with albinism and the violation of their rights, but believes that the imposition of the death penalty infringes the universally guaranteed right to life and amounts to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, contrary to both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

IBAHRI Co-Chair, Anne Ramberg Dr jur hc, stated: ‘The death penalty is amongst the worst of human rights violations, where the right to life and the right not to be subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment are completely ignored. The decision to resort to the death penalty is incompatible with a country that supports the rule of law and good governance.’

In 2008, the IBAHRI Council passed a resolution stating: ‘the Human Rights Institute shall in the future actively promote the abolition of the death penalty’.

Source: IBAHRI denounces death sentence delivered against three in Malawi

‘Stop killing us for our body parts’: Albinism society South Africa (2016 article)

In South Africa, Malawi, Swaziland, Tanzania, Mozambique, Burundi, in most countries in Southern Africa people with albinism are targeted, terrorized, attacked, mutilated, murdered, all for one purpose: muti. In recent years governments in some of these countries have taken measures to protect their albino-citizens. President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania pledged to crackdown on albino killings (2015), the Malawian government ordered police to shoot in a bid to protect albinos (2015). Prosecution of suspects have started in various countries. Yet it is not enough. The attacks and killings continue. More needs to be done: education – to teach people that superstition, the belief in the power of muti is misplaced and that one cannot get away with murder – and the rule of law are key to eradicate these heinous crimes against innocent people who are born with a disability and have to live with it: albinism. (webmaster FVDK).  

Johannesburg, 2 June 2016 – The African Union and SADC are being urged to do more to protect people living with albinism. Hate crimes against people with albinism are still rife across the continent.

Published: June 2, 2016
By: eNCA

JOHANNESBURG – with hate crimes against people with albinism still rife across the continent, the African Union and SADC have been urged to do more on their behalf.

In South Africa,a campaign has been launched  to try and put an end to this human rights crisis.

A recent victim was Thandazile Mpunza, a 20-year-old KwaZulu-Natal woman, whose remains were found in a shallow grave last August.

It is suspected that she was murdered for witchcraft purposes because of her albinism.

The Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL) has taken up the fight.

CRL Commission Chair, Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva, said, “We need to say as Africans we need to say not in our continent, you can’t continue with this thing here and as a continent we need to protect people with albinism.

“There is a lot of energy worldwide to protect the rhino, we expect the same if not more energy to protect people with albinism. If they are being hunted like the rhino, how much coverage do they get, one rhino killed in Malawi or in SA the while world will know about it. But people with albinism their story is not told aggressively enough as we hear stories about the rhino.”

*View  the attached video for more on the plight of people living with albinism in Africa.

Source: ‘Stop killing us for our body parts’: Albinism society

South Africa – Provinces