Liberia war crimes: Sierra Leone rebel commander acquitted of rape, ritual murder and the recruitment of child soldiers  

Gibril Massaquoi is a former commander of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), a notorious rebel group in Sierra Leone responsible for a long list of atrocities, human rights violations and war crimes. Massaquoi is a Sierra Leonian national and was arrested in Finland in March 2020; accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in Liberia.

Gibril Massaquoi played an important role – as a key-witness – during the trial of warlord-turned-president Charles Taylor who was found guilty of war crimes and human rights violations in Sierra Leone and sentenced to 50 years in prison by the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL).

For briefness sake I refer to the following site for more background information on this person: Liberia: Past and Present of Africa’s Oldest Republic, click here.

Highly recommended reading is also Justice Info Net, in particular Thierry Cruvelliers’ contribution: THE MASSAQUOI AFFAIR: SPECIAL REPORT ON THE JUDAS OF SIERRA LEONE (PART 1 and PART 2).
(webmaster FVDK)

Liberia war crimes: Sierra Leone rebel commander acquitted by court in Finland

Published: April 29, 2022
By: BBC

Gibril Ealoghima Massaquoi denies murders, rape and recruiting child soldiers

A court in Finland has acquitted a rebel commander of rape, ritual murder and the recruitment of child soldiers during Liberia’s civil war.

The court said there was not enough proof to convict Gibril Massaquoi. 

The 52-year-old is from Sierra Leone and was a senior member of a notorious rebel group, the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), that also fought in neighbouring Liberia from 1999 to 2003.

He had moved to Finland in 2008 and was arrested two years ago.

Mr Massaquoi was a school teacher when Sierra Leone’s civil war began in 1991. He joined the RUF, quickly rising through the ranks to become spokesman of the group which was notorious for atrocities such as hacking off the limbs of civilians, as well as murder and rape.

But he then gave evidence to the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone set up to investigate war crimes committed in that conflict.

He was relocated to Finland as part of a witness protection programme, which provided immunity for crimes committed in Sierra Leone, but not Liberia.

Prosecutors alleged that in Liberia, Mr Massaquoi had ordered buildings with people locked inside to be torched, and described the widespread rape and murder of civilians, often by enslaved child soldiers.

The ex-rebel said he was not in Liberia at the time.

The Finnish court had decamped to the Liberian capital, Monrovia, for a while to hear local testimony.

Around 250,000 people were killed during the internal conflicts that ended in 2003.

This was the first prosecution over Liberia’s civil war to be partially held in the country, although Mr Massaquoi remained in Finland.

Screenshot – Miatta, former child soldier in Liberia: “I know I killed people”
To watch the video, please click on the link mentioned below (under ‘Source’)

Former Liberian President Taylor was convicted by an international criminal court in 2012 of war crimes and crimes against humanity, but that was in connection with the conflict in Sierra Leone. He is serving his 50-year sentence in a prison in the UK.

His son “Chuckie” Taylor was sentenced to 97 years in prison in a US federal court in 2009 for torturing and killing people while he was the head of Liberia’s anti-terrorist services.

Ex-warlord Mohammed “Jungle Jabbah” Jabateh has been jailed for 30 years in the US for lying about his past as a leader of a force that carried out multiple murders and acts of cannibalism.

And Alieu Kosiah was last year convicted of war crimes in Switzerland.

Source: Liberia war crimes: Sierra Leone rebel commander acquitted by court in Finland

Liberia: Man missing from ‘Prayer Band’ found dead in river with parts allegedly extracted

Another mysterious death in Liberia, another murder and, after the lifeless body of the missing man, Joseph Blama, was found, rumors started spreading that body parts had been extracted – feeding the suspicion of a ritualistic murder. The victim’s widow, Madam Asatu Blama, confirmed to reporters that the lifeless body found was her husband, adding that parts were allegedly extracted.

A major suspect in the mysterious disappearance of Joseph Blama, Madam Martha Doe, who is a popular prayer warrior in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County had been arrested, together with 12 others. In a remarkable development, all suspects had been released after an intervention by a prominent politician, Grand Bassa Senator Nyonblee Kangar Lawrence.

Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence confirmed that Prayer Mother Madam Doe and the other 12 arrested suspects had been released after consultation with Justice Minister Musah F. Deah.

It is obvious that the separation of powers (‘Trias politica’) in Liberia is not being respected. Legislators should not intervene in the judiciary. However, as my late friend Tom Kamara would have said in these circumstances: “This, Too, Is Liberia”.
(webmaster FVDK)

Liberia: Man Missing from ‘Prayer Band’ Found Dead in River

The deceased, Jospeh Blama

Published: April 19, 2022
By: Elton Wroinbee Tiah, Grand Bassa County Correspondent – Daily Observer

… Parts Allegedly Extracted 

The lifeless body of 45-year-old Joseph Blama, who went missing for several days following a quest for deliverance from a popular Prayer Warrior, Martha Doe, has been discovered with parts allegedly extracted.

The lifeless body of Blama was discovered in Dwehn’s Town on the St. John River, Grand Bassa County. Blama went missing on March 25, in St. John City, Grand Bassa County after 25 members of Madam Martha Doe’s prayer band gathered for prayer. 

The popular prayer warrior Martha Doe, who resides in Buchanan, invited Blama to her Prayer Band in St. John City, in the name of deliverance to enable him to get a job. Blama’s widow, Madam Asatu Blama, confirmed to reporters that the lifeless body was her husband, adding that parts were allegedly extracted.

The cause of death is yet unknown as she reportedly indicated that, after more than a month of searching, her husband is dead without any explanation. It can be recalled that Madam Martha Doe and 12 others were jailed by the Liberian National Police for more than four days before the lifeless body of Joseph Blama was discovered.

Madam Doe, who is a popular prayer warrior in Buchanan and a major suspect in the mysterious disappearance of Joseph Blama, was released from jail along with 12 others on the alleged orders of Senator Nyonblee Kangar Lawrence. Upon her release, she told reporters early Friday morning: “We all prayed and went to sleep, but later we heard a sound like people breaking into the place.”

Madam Doe regretted that Joseph Blama could not be seen, adding that she immediately informed the police and the St. John City Mayor James E. Brooks. “Soon as I told Mayor James Brooks, he told me to tell the police that the man was a criminal and I said no, I brought him to this prayer band.”

Madam has expressed sadness over the mysterious death of the man who came to her for prayers, but linked the Mayor of St. John City to the mysterious death. 

However, Mayor James E. Brooks in an interview with reporters admitted that the incident occurred in his municipality. Brooks admitted to reporters that he and Madam Martha Doe interacted, but clarified that he told her to say it’s a criminal attitude after the incident occurred.

Before Blama was discovered, the Crime Services Division of the Liberia National Police Bassa detachment found the phones, and white underwear, believed to be the property of the deceased, in a bush a distance away from where the prayer band was held.

Meanwhile, Grand Bassa Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence told our reporter that the Prayer Warrior and 12-others were released based on consultation with the Justice Minister.

“Madam Doe and 12 others were jailed for four days without being charged and so I contacted the Justice Minister and he alluded to the fact that, once the man was still missing, they could not have charged the alleged suspects,” Senator Karnga-Lawrence said.

“I immediately spoke with the wife of the missing man before calling the police to release those behind bars.”

Senator Karnga-Lawrence mentioned that Prayer Warrior Doe and 12-others were instructed to report to the police headquarters daily, which they did until the body was recently discovered. However, the Senator confirmed that the Blama’s widow was invited to her house in Buchanan and they talked.

Expressing regret over the mysterious death of Joseph Blama, she said that she has “been speaking with the widow. Now that the missing man is dead, I will meet the wife again to ensure that proper investigation is conducted into the mysterious death.”

Source: Liberia: Man Missing from ‘Prayer Band’ Found Dead in River

More:

Liberia: Man, 45, Goes Missing after Prayer Meeting in Grand Bassa

Joseph Blama, 45, was last seen at a prayer service hosted by Madam Martha Doe. 

Published: April 4, 2022
By: Elton Wroinbee Tiah and Guest contributor – Daily Observer

A 45-year-old man, identified as Joseph Blama, has been reported missing for several days now, following a quest for deliverance from a popular prayer warrior in the county, Martha Doe.

The incident occurred on Friday, March 25, 2022 in St. John City, Grand Bassa County, after 25 members of Madam Doe’s prayer band gathered for prayer.

The popular Madam Doe, who resides in Buchanan, invited Blama to the prayer meeting in St. John City, to receive prayers for deliverance, to enable him to get a job.

According to Madam Doe, “The man’s wife called me and said her husband has been out of job for years and so I told them to send him so that he could be part of our prayer service.

“Early Friday morning,” she continued, “we all prayed and went to sleep but later we heard a sound like people breaking into the place.”

Madam Doe lamented that Joseph Blama was nowhere to be seen, adding that she immediately informed the police and the St. John City Mayor, James E. Brooks.

“As soon as I told the Mayor James Brooks, he told me to tell the police that the man was a criminal. I said ‘no, I brought him to this prayer band.

“We searched all over but we later discovered the man’s phones and underwear, but he himself couldn’t be found up to now,” she explained. 

However, Mayor James E. Brooks, in an interview with reporters, admitted that the incident occurred in his municipality and that he and Madam Martha Doe interacted after the man went missing. 

The Crime Services Division of the Liberia National Police Grand Bassa detachment disclosed that phones and white underwear that they believe to be the victim’s property  was found in the bush along the road that leads to the St. John river at the back of the place where the prayer service was held.

According to the police report, the missing man’s assorted belongings, including clothes and wallet that contains his national identification card, was recovered from the leader of the prayer band in the person of Madam Martha Doe.

Meanwhile, the leadership of St. John City has launched a vigorous search for the missing man and Prayer Mother Martha Doe has been jailed.

Source: Liberia: Man, 45, Goes Missing after Prayer Meeting in Grand Bassa

Devastating 2019 report on attacks of persons with albinism in 28 African countries

In 2019, the commendable private organization Under The Same Sun released a report which shocked all who read its contents. The report is a kind of inventory, taking stock of reported cases of killings and attacks on people with albinism in nearly 30 countries, virtually all African countries. The attacks include attempted abductions, mutilations, rape, and missing persons. Overall, the report mentions a staggering number of over 200 murders and nearly 400 attacks on persons with albinism in 29 countries : 28 African countries and the USA. Since we focus on this site on the African continent, the US case has been omitted here (even though the case which is being described in much detail is shocking and revolting. The interested reader who wishes to learn more about this case, may consult the original report which can be accessed by clicking on the link under Source mentioned, at the bottom of this post).

Some of the cases presented below have been reported earlier on this site. It does not diminishes their shocking nature. It’s a bloody shame that persons with albinism are still being targeted in so many countries, just because some superstitious and/or criminal people who have no respect for other people’s life believe that their organs, blood and body parts contain supernatural powers. In some (many? too many!) cases, governments do not take sufficient action to apprehend and prosecute the culprits and punish them according to the law after they have been tried by an impartial court. Sometimes this lack of action is explained by the fact that high-placed people, politicians or businessmen, are somehow involved in the reported cases. Governments also fail to act when they fail to eradicate superstition, the believe in witchcraft by educating people. It is superstition which lies at the base of these heinous crimes whereas lack of governmental action, corruption and connivance of police and judicial authorities enable the perpetrators to continue unabated.

I have drawn attention to the admirable work of the organization Under The Same Sun and its founder and president Peter Ash on several previous occasions. I may refer to my writings and reporting in 2008 which can be found here. I particular I wish t remind the reader of the interview which Peter Ash gave in 2008 when he stated that he believes that the total number of deadly victims of crimes targeting people with albinism in a country like Tanzania is twice the official figure. Click here for the shocking 5 minutes interview.

Today we live in 2022, 14 years after Peter Ash gave this interview and three years after the 2019 report presented below. In many countries the repugnant crimes against people with albinisme continues. They continue to be rejected, discriminated, abducted, and killed, murdered, slaughtered in cold blood.

It’s high time for action!

NB: Please read carefully the preceding three notes before accessing the country reports.

Warning: I wish to warn the readers of the extreme graphic nature of the following stories included in the various country reports ((webmaster FVDK).

Published: May 1, 2019
By: Under The Same Sun

Homepage Under the Same Sun

Reported Attacks of Persons with Albinism (PWA) – Most Recent Attacks Included (as of 2019)

Total Number of Killings: 209 

Total Number of Attacks: 378
Attacks include survivors of mutilations, violence, rape, attempted abductions, missing, grave violations, asylum & other refuge cases. 

Total Number of Reported Cases: 587 

Total Number of Countries: 29
(NB: Note of the webmaster: the case of the USA, mentioned in the original report, has been omitted here, resulting in 28 African countries.)

NOTE 1: Many attacks & killings of People with Albinism (PWA) in Africa are not documented or reported. Under The Same sun (UTSS) is certain that crimes of colour against PWA are common in various parts of almost all African countries. LEGENDS & MYTHS ABOUND, AND UTSS HAS YET TO HEAR OF ONE THAT IS HUMANIZINGMost myths reduce PWA to ghosts, magical beings or curses, etc. On rare occasion the discrimination is reversed and the PWA are “deified” into “gods”. Either way, they rarely get to enjoy their status as normal human beings. Many countries have stories about the mysterious disappearance of PWA. There is a growing, documented truth to these rumors. We know that many PWA have “disappeared” due to abduction, then mutilated and killed by fellow citizens (sometimes family members “friends” or neighbours) for the purpose of witchcraft related rituals. These ritual attacks frequently find their roots in ancient ancestral beliefs, are a familiar concept to most Africans, and have been going on since time beyond memory.

NOTE 2: Countries known to be involved in the cross-border trade of PWA and their body parts: Tanzania, Burundi, Kenya, DRC, Mozambique, Malawi, South Africa, Swaziland,

NOTE 3: UTSS gathers this data from its own field research and also from its partners on
the ground. We record cases that have been thoroughly verified. However this is not always possible. In such cases, we record cases from partners, media and civil society that are reasonable and prima facie credible.

PWA = Person(s) with Albinism
PFI = Press Freedom Index for 2019 (180 countries surveyed) 
.
Source: Reporters Without Borders (RSF)

Benin, 18 reports: (PFI 96 of 180) 5 killings / 5 survivors / 7 missing / 1 grave robbery Most recent survivor: On August 4, 2017, a 13 year old girl with albinism by the name of Anna Gnanhwui narrowly escaped abduction and was found unhurt the following day in Dogbo in the south west of Benin. According to Anna’s cousine, Mr. Valentin GOSSA, she was just leaving the marketplace with one of her sisters and was in the neighbourhood of Dogbo Zaphi public primary school when the kidnappers approached frightening Anna’s sister away and abducting Anna in a black Ford Focus with the lisence numbre AY 4078. The police were immediately alerted and launched a large patrol of the surrounding area. Under intense pressure, the kidnappers were forced to release Anna in a bush where she spent the night. The following morning she found help and was reunited with her family at the Dobgo’s Police station with the General Director of the National Police. All 3 suspects who committed the abduction are Beninese from Dogbo and have been arrested by Commander CIE APLAHOUE and his team and will be presented to a public prosecutor. (Sources: UTSS was informed by the following 2 sources – Houetehou C. Franck HOUNSA; Founder and President; Connexion Worldwide NGO; O1 BP 4166 Cotonou; Tél +229 97895528; Benin Republic / Mr. AKPO Firmin; NGO: VALEUR ALBINOS; Contact:00229 95 54 75 13; Site internet: www.valeur-albinos.org; Republic of Benin)

Most recent killing: On July 13, 2013, a 20 year old man with albinism known as Francois (HOUANOU Mahouto François) was deceived, drugged, kidnapped, killed and mutilated in his homeland of Benin. François lived in the community of Lalo in south-western Benin, where he was learning to become a nurse in one of the hospitals at Lalo Centre. Francois had a cousin named Pascal (HLEKPE Pascal) who lived in Koudjon Centre, a small village near Lalo. Both boys had grown up together in the same hamlet of Ouinsouhoué. On that fateful day, Pascal approached his cousin with albinism in order to deceive him, saying that he’d found a high paying job for him in downtown Cotonou, and that the boss wanted to meet right away. François showed no hesitation and after a 3 hour ride, they went to wait for the so-called boss in a bar. Here Francois was drugged and kidnapped to Porto-Novo, the country’s capital city, where he was killed, and parts of his body removed. When Pascal returned home to Lalo alone, everyone started asking for François. Pascal kept insisting that he had not traveled anywhere with François. Since many had seen them travelling together, people started threatening him to tell the truth. In an attempt to conceal the truth and silence the family, he decided to consult various witchdoctors to make him amulets. Finally he and his three accomplices went to consult one of the visionaries of the Celestial Churches of Christ. He told him the whole story and begged him to mystically silence everyone about the murder in exchange for a lot of money. The visionary left his house briefly and called the police, who arrived quickly. The criminals tried to escape but the police shot one of them and all four were arrested and placed in custody. Of the four, one was released when it was discovered that he was the younger brother to one of the criminals and had nothing to do with the murder. The other three were placed in the prison in Lokossa and are serving their sentences. (Source: Sent to UTSS March 7, 2018, by Mr. Firmin Akpo, NGO Valeur Albinos, Benin; Tel: +229 95 54 75 13/ 96 93 96 05; E-mail: valeuralbinos.ong@gmail.com; Site:www.valeur-albinos.org)

Most recent missing: On March 23, 2019, a 45-year-old man with albinism by the name of Allavo Arnaud went missing in the city of Abomey, Zou Department, Benin. The victim was a well-known joiner (carpenter) who lived in the Allavo’s home and had his joinery business opposite the DAH TAMADAHO. Much to the dismay of his family, the victim’s younger brother may have been involved in his disappearance. According to a cousin, Arnaud had some work to do for an old man who had called him in the morning of Saturday, March 23, indicating that the door locks had been purchased and that he should come to make the repairs. Arnaud has not been heard from since. The old man was questioned over the disappearance but denies that Arnaud met with him that day. Franck Hounsa, founder and chairperson of Beninese Albinism NGO has raised the alert, asking anyone who has any suspicions about Allavo’s destination that day to inform the police or the nearest local authority. He concluded by saying: “I pray we find Arnaud unharmed for the sake of his family and the nation. I appeal parents to look after their children with albinism. I also warn adults with albinism against going unaccompanied to a meeting even if they know the person who invites them to that meeting.” (Source: UTSS received this attack report on March 25, 2019, from Franck Hounsa, founder and chairperson of Beninese Albinism NGO Divine Connexion Worldwide; Email: houetehou@yahoo.fr; Tel./ WhatsApp: +229-97 89 55 28. This attack was confirmed on March 31, 2019, by Firmin AKPO from NGO Valeur Albinos in BENIN; Email address: valeuralbinos.ong@gmail; Website: www.valeur-albinos.org; Tel : +229- 97 64 30 19 / +229-96 02 28 96 )

Most recent grave robbery: In September of 2018, a 50-year-old woman with albinism by the name of Dame Clémentine Kantchemé ends up dying of skin cancer after which her lifeless body was decapitated by a family member at her burial in the woods near her family home in the community of Allada, Atlantique Department, Benin. Over the span of multiple unknown dates throughout the course of her life, the deceased had survived numerous abduction attempts and other inhumane cruelties at the hands of her family. Dame Clémentine had always been disowned by her father’s family who compared her to a white monster along with many other punishing psychological abuses. She never did manage to move past these cruelties and build a family of her own. At one-point she was very sick with wounds all over her body and finally decided to seek assistance from her mother’s younger sister, hoping for a more supportive response. Tragically, and to her great surprise, she was ill-treated by her aunt as well, being forced to cook despite her poor vision and deteriorating health. One day while cooking, a fire broke out in the kitchen. Because she only had sight in one eye which suffered from low vision, she didn’t immediately notice the fire and was nearly burnt alive. Thankfully she was rescued by some neighbours. To make life worse, her aunt colluded with a witchdoctor to get rid of her for good. The aunt told Dame Clementine that she knew of a witchdoctor who could heal her but that the treatment consisted of pouring boiled water over the left side of her face. This was pure torture for Dame Clémentine who screamed for help while being overpowered by the perpetrators. She lost half of her left ear during this so-called “cure” ritual, and the skin on her face had all but disappeared and became infested with maggots. Upon arrival at hospital the doctors denounced the so-called treatment, describing it as Machiavellian. In September of 2018, Dame Clémentine Kantchemé finally died of skin cancer. Her body was immediately apprehended by the family who refused to give her a decent funeral, saying that she did not deserve a coffin or a grave in a cemetery. One of the Kantchemé family members publicly declared that he needed her head because, since childhood she had been very lucky, having escaped their many attempted kidnappings. Nestor, one of the deceased cousins, insisted on participating in the burial in the bush in ALLADA. Following the funeral, Nestor told police that the body’s head had been removed before it was buried. The police warned him against pushing the case further for fear that he may be killed by the family. They went on to tell Nestor that this was a family matter and that there was no need to “make noise” about the body parts that had been removed since the victim was already dead. (Source: Report sent to UTSS by Firmin AKPO from NGO Valeur Albinos in BENIN on March 31, 2019; Email address: valeuralbinos.ong@gmail; Website: www.valeur-albinos.org; Tel : +229- 97 64 30 19 / +229-96 02 28 96).

Botswana, 3 reports: (PFI 44 of 180) 3 survivors
Survivor account: In September of 1998
, a 27 year old woman with albinism by the name of Ofentse Serurubele narrowly escaped a second plot against her life. The incident took place at Kanye, her native village in Southern Botswana. Although Serurubele was a primary school teacher in the city of Jwaneng, Botswana, she was pregnant and staying in her native village at the time. On this near fateful day, her young brother encountered three guys in the village night club who knew Serurubele. They offered him some beer to get him drunk, hoping to manipulate him into joining their murder plot against his sister. Fortunately he sensed something was wrong and secretly managed to replace the beer with water while pretending to be drunk. The guys asked him: “Where is your sister, the albino teacher?” “Your sister could actually make the deal: She is albino and pregnant!” “We want her flesh…!” Seururubele’s brother lied, telling them she was teaching in Jwanenge City but would be home for the weekend and that they could find her then. When he got home from the club that evening, Serurubele’s brother told her everything and warned her to leave immediately to Jwaneng city for her safety. After that incident, Serrurubele stayed in the city for a long time. (Source: Personal interview by UTSS on January 22, 2014 with Mrs. Ofentse Serurubele, founder & chair of PWA Tshimologo Association Botswana, mobile number +267-72-962-779; Botswana Gazette, January 16, 2014, Understanding Albinism by Kago Komane,http://www.gazettebw.com/?p=6718 )

Burkina Faso, 9 reports: (PFI 36 of 180) 2 killing / 6 survivors / 1 asylum
Most recent killing: On August 14, 2012 
a 12 year old boy with albinism was killed in Gaoua, Burkina Faso. Witnesses report that the body was found with his head and genitals removed. (source: “L’Express du Faso” on Wednesday, August 15, 2012).

Other killing account (date unknown): A 16 year old person with albinism (PWA) was allegedly murdered by François Compaore, brother of Burkina Faso’s president at that time. It is believed that the killing was related to human sacrifice. In the newspaper “L’Indépendant”, a former soldier by the name of Delma Daogo, who was in active service to Compaore at that time, gave an interview where he explained: François Compaoré (the president’s brother) sent David Ouedraogo (his driver) to Ouagadougou Central Mosque, a place where PWA congregate to appeal for money, in order to bring one of them to him so that he could make a sacrifice. David brought a 16 year old PWA for the alleged purpose of making prayers in the compound of François Compaoré. The driver was then given 50.000F (about 100 US dollars) and asked to go home. Once at his home, David realized he had forgotten his wallet and returned to pick it up. When he arrived, he saw that they had killed the PWA and cut him into pieces. (Source: l’Indépendant – link to article no longer active – This newspaper was founded by the late journalist, Mr. Norbert Zongo who was allegedly assassinated by President Blaise Compaore’s regime due, in part, to the publication of this article about a PWA murder.)

Most recent abduction: On April 18th, 2012, Dr. Pius Kamau, an American physician
originally from Kenya, was an eye witness at the Nairobi airport to three aggressive African men being allowed to transport a young boy with albinism out of the country without a passport. He said the men had come from Tanzania and were headed to Ouagadougou, in Burkina Faso and that they used loud, offensive language as the airline attendant asked for the missing passport — they had three passports and none for the child. Dr. Kamau is now convinced that the three-year-old boy with albinism is no longer a baby headed to a loving family, but a sacrifice at some altar of a cruel witchcraft ceremony. (Source: HUFF POST: IMPACT – The BLOG; Three Year Old Albino – Victim of Witchcraft Sacrifice by Pius Kamau, Posted: 05/01/2012 at 4:00 pm)

Burundi, 38 reports: (PFI 159 of 180) 21 killings, 13 survivors, 4 grave robbery.
Most recent killing: On March 24, 2016, a four year-old girl with albinism by the name of Devote Ntiharirizwa was kidnapped from her home by unidentified men armed with machetes at around midnight, in colline Musemo, comune Mishiha, province Cankuzo, Burundi, not far from the Tanzanian border. On March 29, 2016, OHCHR was informed by police sources that the body parts of the little girl were found in a jerry-can and that three men were arrested in relation to the case. One of them had already been involved in the killing of PWA in 2008 and sentenced to a life sentence. OHCHR is following up to find out why he was released. (Source: Anonyms).

Second most recent killing: On February 17, 2016, at around 1:30 AM, a 4 year old girl with albinism by the name of Cimpaye was murdered in the Province of Kirundo, commune of Busoni, in the area of Muterwa, Hill of Irenga in Northern Burundi. She was sleeping when a gang of criminals armed with machetes burst into the home of her parents, Mr. Nyabenda Pascal and his wife Modeste Rwasa. Among the intruders was a man wearing a military shirt of the National Defence Force. Three of the gang members broke into the house to abduct little Cimpaye. About 30 meters from the house they killed her, chopping off her arms and taking them. Cimpaye’s parents wanted to bury their daughter in their yard but have been denied since they do not own the premises. Burundi’s PWA association, APOB, have been in touch with the local authority on this matter. The director assured them she would send her staff in charge of Social Affairs along with the chief of the area to discuss the issue of the victim’s burial. APOB officials also expressed deep concern about the safety of the remaining PWA in the commune of Busoni since it’s the place with the highest number of PWA in the province of Kirundo. In October of 2015 another child with albinism narrowly escaped murder in the same commune. (Source: Report sent to UTSS on February 17, 2016, by Moise Nkengurutse, legal representative of the organization for PWA in Burundi – OPAB (Organisation des Personnes Albinos du Burundi); Address: Q. Mushasha, Sous Q. Nyabisindu, Transversal IV, No 18, Gitega_Burundi, BP: 179, Gitega; Telephone: +25779323225 +25775401739; E mail: opa.burundi@yahoo.com)

Most recent survivor: On October 6, 2015, a 10 year old girl with albinism by the name of Alice Girukwishaka miraculously survived a brutal attack at her home in Busoni town, in the province of Kirundo, in MUyange-Gisozi, Northern Burundi. Men armed with machetes attacked the family of Gerard NKUNZIMANA & NIZIGIYIMANA who were accommodating Alice. Fortunately neighbours managed to intervene and help bring a premature end to the attack. Little Alice sustained injuries to the head and shoulder and underwent intensive treatment at Kanyinya Hospital in Kirundo. The criminals escaped before being identified. (Source: Moise Nkengurutse, Legal Representative of the of Burundi albinism association – OPAB; Address: Q. Mushasha, Sous Q. Nyabisindu, Transversal IV, No 18, Gitega_Burundi, BP: 179, Gitega; Tel: +257-79323225 / +257-75401739; E mail: opa.burundi@yahoo.com)

Second most recent survivor: On March 20, 2015, a 28year old man with albinism by the name of Ndagijimana Debok was attacked with a machete and his left leg severely injured, in the town of Gihanga, North western province of Bubanza in Burundi. As presidential elections approach in Burundi, the safety of PWA remains a matter of concern. The victim received treatment in a local hospital. Ndagijimana’s neighbour is suspected to be the perpetrator of this attack and investigations are underway. (Source: Account provided on March 28, 2015, by Mr Pascal Matabishi, member of Burundi’s PWA association – ASF – email: pascaloni@icloud.com; tel: +257-75 97 14 98).

Graver robbery: In August of 2012, the grave of a woman with albinism by the name of Tabu was violated by unidentified criminals and her head was stolen. Eight months earlier, Tabu had succumbed to an extended and tragic battle with skin cancer and was buried in the cemetery of the Bugarama area, in the town of Muramvya in the province of Muramvya. Her son Venuste, also a PWA, was informed of his mother’s exhumed body and immediately reported it to the leaders of the Burundian PWA Association called “Albinos Sans Frontieres”. (Source: ASF – Burundi PWA Association)

Cameroon, 11 report: (PFI 131 of 180) 2 killings, 2 survivor, 6 asylum, 1 grave robbery Most recent killing account: In August of 2009, the foot of a young girl with albinism whose Identity remains undisclosed was found in a garbage can in Douala, the capital of the region of Littoral, Cameroon. She reportedly worked in a Snack Bar in that area. Her foot was kept in the morgue of the Laquintane Hospital in Douala. (Source: Information provided to UTSS on July 03, 2013 by Kakmeni Wembou Raphael, the leader of Cameronn Association for the Promotion of Albino CAPA).

Most recent survivor account: In 2013 a mother and her infant with albinism began the process of seeking asylum in France because she feared for the life of her child in Cameroon where members of her community attempted to kill the baby for ritual purposes during local elections. (Source: Iinterview on June 12, 2014, between UTSS and Genespoir, France’s major PWA group who were strongly involved in this case.)

Most recent asylum account: On December 23, 2015, a man with albinism by the name Mr. Christian Eric Tchidjo from Cameroon was granted refugee status in UK. (Source: Iinterviews with UTSS).

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), 70 reports: (PFI 154 of 180) 17 killings / 35 survivors / 1 missing / 10 grave robberies / 7 asylums
Most recent killing: On July 17, 2017
, an infant with albinism was thrown into a cesspit (often used as a toilet in rural Africa) by the husband of the childs mother who was absence at the time of this henious act. The incident took place in Maazi, territory of Shabunda in the province of South-Kivu, in DRC. The baby died and the murderer has since enrolled in an armed group called Raiya Mutomboki. (Source: Report sent to UTSS on July 21, 2017, by an albinism group called Programme d’intégration pour la protection de l’humanité (Piph-ASBL); Coordinator: Mr. LUNGELE ITEBO Samuel; Email address :piphasblrdc@gmail.com; Tel. + 243-9749380000, + 243-974938002 + 243-993714382; Physical address: MWENGA, KALOLE in South-Kivu, DRC).

Most recent survivor: This report counts as 2 attacks: In 2017 and again in January of 2018 a 63 year old man with albinism by the name of Jean- Louis Gbangbi Ngbonza escaped 2 attempted kidnappings in his hometown of Alibuku located along the road of Buta about 37 KM from Kisangani in the province of Tshopo, DRC. In an interview with Dr. Gaylord Inena Wa Inena, Jean- Louis said; “I faced two attempted kidnappings. The first time was last year in 2017, some people plotted to kidnap me, but thankfully a local security company managed to rescue me. The second time was in January of this year (2018), a man who had newly settled in my hometown and worked as a traditional gun maker planned to abduct me. He got married to a local woman. His wife informed me that her husband was plotting to kidnap me at my workplace and take me somewhere. He didn’t succeed. At that time, I worked as a teacher and director in a local school. The guy came here (Kisangani) from Kindu, province of Maniema. Apparently, he was sent by some people to kidnap PWAs in DRC and take them to Tanzania. I informed the police who investigated his suspicious activities. It was found that he was clandestinely making and supplying guns to a local gang of rebels called Nzambe Lumumba. He ran away when he noticed he was going to be arrested.” The victim has since relocated for safety reasons. (Source: On July 30, 2018, UTSS received a video interview recorded and sent by Dr. Gaylord Inena Wa Inena, CEO and Founder of an NGO called CORBETTA in Kisangani, province of Tshopo, DRC; Email: gaylordinena@gmail.com; Cellphone/ WhatsApp: +243-824-155-808).

Most recent missing: On February 16, 2015, a two year boy with albinism was abducted in Nyantende, in the territory of Kabare, province of South Kivu, DRC. A journalist for the Congolese Press Agency reported that early in second week of September, 2015, a trafficker of children with albinism was arrested for this crime by the police in Kamanyola in the territory of Walungu. The child’s father and paternal uncle explained that the criminal, along with his accomplice and their neighbours, broke into their house while the parents were away, enticing the boy with sweets and wrapping him in a bag. The victim’s older brother, age 7, said the kidnappers bought him cookies to gain his favour in order to commit their heinous crime. They have since vanished with the boy. One of the arrested suspects declared that it was his accomplice who wrapped the boy in the bag. The latter is now in the hands of police. (Source: Congolese Press Agency – ACP [Agence Congolaise de Presse]; An albino child trafficker arrested in Kamanyola; September 10, 2015, http://acpcongo.com/acp/un-trafiquant-denfants-albinos-arrete-a-kamanyola/).

Most recent grave desecrationIn the early hours of March 25, 2019, the grave of a man with albinism by the name of Mr. Ghislain, who had died a month and a half earlier, was vandalized at his family plot in the ward of CIRIRI, in the community of BAGIRA, BUKAVU District, SOUTH KIVU Province, DRC. The remains of the deceased were exhumed, dismembered and body parts stolen. A local resident by the name of Romain CIRHUZA said it’s not the first time that the grave of a PWA has been tampered with, and body parts taken in the area of BUKAVU. It is alleged that these acts are committed for witchcraft purposes. Condemnation of the act by the Urban Security Council which was presided over by the mayor of BUKAVU, Méschac Bilubi Ulengabo, was followed by the albinism group called Association pour la promotion intégrale des albinos. (Source: RTNK; Bukavu: Desecration of the grave of a person living with albinism in Ciriri, civil society demands investigations; March 26, 2019;http://rtnk.info/bukavula-tombe-dune-personne-vivant-albinisme-profanee-a-ciriri/ and KIVUPRESS.CD; South Kivu: The grave of an albino was desecrated in Bukavu; March 30th, 2019; https://www.kivupress.info/9456-sud-kivu-la-tombe-dun-albinos-a-ete-profanee-a-bukavu/).

Most recent asylum: During the first week of June, 2015, legal history was made in Ireland when a man with albinism from DRC who wishes to remain anonymous was granted secured permanent residency through a non-asylum process. He suffered severe persecution and untreated skin cancer in his native country. (Source: UTSS was informed via a personal contact from his sister who is now a resident of Canada.)

Egypt, 1 report(PFI 163 of 180) 1 asylum – September 16, 2011
On Friday, September 16, 2011, Hazem Abd Elkade, a 28 year old man with albinism from Egypt told journalist Sophie Bond about his life in Egypt and his new found asylum in New Zealand. He contrasted the profound discrimination facing people with albinism in Egypt with the amazing and equal opportunities he has found in New Zealand. Hazem’s lawyer says: “He was seriously maltreated at multiple levels including such things as deliberate cigarette burns from supposed educators…. The hostility toward him was serious at best because of his Albinism. He has now been able to both marry and continue his studies. He is one of the nicest and most considerate people I have met in a long time and doing very well.” Hazem says; “I want to be a professor in the university. The first time I ever got a salary was here in New Zealand. I can support myself and my research. I don’t want to go back to Egypt, not even for a visit.” (SOURCE: The Aucklander (online) – New home for Hazem, By Sophie Bond, Friday 16 September 2011, http://m.nzherald.co.nz/aucklander/news/article.cfmc_id=1503378&objectid=11040952 ; Hazem’s lawyer Allen Little QSM,JP).

Ghana, 3 report: (PFI 27 of 180) 1 killing / 2 survivors
Most recent killing: On February 17, 2015
, the lifeless body of a 35 year old man with albinism by the name of Kofi Yeboah aka Agbleyevu was found at the entrance of Pastor Emmanuel Agbeze’s residence in Owoakra, Boketey, under Amanase in the eastern region of Ghana. According to the pastor’s wife, Gifty Asare, her husband ran off shortly after the death of Kofi and she has not heard from him since. Unfortunately the police have not been responsive to crimes committed in this area and allowed Pastor Agbeze to escape without questioning. Since that time however, police commander Spt. Yahaya of Suhum police station announced that because of the public interest whipped up by media related to the death of Kofi Yeboah, the homicide unit at police headquarters in Accra had taken over the investigation. (Source: Newton Kwamla Katseku, Executive Director of the Ghana Association of Persons with Albinism – GAPA, June 6 & July 24, 2015; info@gapaghana.org / gapa4all@gmail.com / www.gapaghana.org and Suhum police report number 112967).

Most recent survivor: On February 27, 2010, a man with albinism by the name of Newton Kwamlia Katseku, who is also the Executive Director of the Ghana Association of Persons with Albinism (GAPA), narrowly escaped death. This event took place while attending a funeral in the town of Akwamufie, a community along the Volta Lake near the Adomi bridge on Atimpoku Ho road in the eastern region of Ghana. Early on during the funeral ceremonies Newton was approached by 4 different parties urgently warning him to leave or go into hiding. When he asked why, they informed him that it is against local tradition to tolerate or accept people with albinism in the vicinity. Newton spent close to nine hours hiding in a car as the funeral and other rites were performed before he was able to leave. He later reported the incident to several authorities but has never received a reply. (Source: Newton Kwamla Katseku, Executive Director of the Ghana Association of Persons with Albinism – GAPA, June 6 & July 24, 2015; info@gapaghana.org / gapa4all@gmail.com / www.gapaghana.org).

Second most recent survivor: On July 16, 2009, in the country of Ghana, a 2 year old boy with albinism (unnamed) was kidnapped by an 18 year old woman named Akua Linda. A week later on July 22, 2009 Linda was apprehended and confessed that a man named Biyanka sent her to feign playing with the boy so that she could steal him. Linda continued that Biyanka took the boy to Asuoyeboah, another Kumasi suburb, after which he was taken to an unknown destination. Akua Linda, according to the Police Capo, noted further that Biyanka returned the boy to her yesterday morning, explaining that what he intended to use the boy for could not work out as expected. Linda was therefore on her way to return the child to his mother when someone saw them at the Kejetia Bus Terminal in Kumasi, Ghana, and raised the alarm leading to her apprehension. Investigations continue. (Source: Daily Guide posted by Ghana Pundit; Thursday, July 23, 2009, “Girl Arrested for Stealing Albino” http://ghanapundit.blogspot.ca/2009/07/girl- arrested-for-stealing-albino.html )

Guinea, 16 reports: (PFI 107 of 180) 5 killings / 6 survivors / 5 asylum & other refuge cases

2 Most recent killings: 1st Killing: On a Sunday in September of 2010, at the area of
La Carrière, in the town of Matam, district of Conakry, the body of a PWA was found with the eyes missing— very likely removed with a knife. According to our source, the unnamed PWA used to wander daily in that area with some friends, looking for their daily bread. Their life is made up of begging at the big market of Matam’s main station and on the streets of the Capital City. One morning his lifeless body was found laying on the sidewalk. 2nd Killing: At very much the same time in 2010, at the Matoto Market, in the town of Matoto, another PWA was killed in some unexplained circumstances. His body was found completely dismembered; the attackers having made off with many of the body parts.
These two PWA lifeless bodies have made the headlines of all local media including the National Broadcaster RTG. Many Websites and Private Radios have used these murders in their headlines. But unfortunately, no investigation has been considered as if PWAs have no rights. This silence and impunity make fragile the life of PWA in the republic of Guinea and everywhere in Africa.

Most recent survivor account: On May 17, 2017, a four year old girl with albinism by the
name of Fatoumata Camara narrowly escaped a ritual tragedy after being rescued from 4 men who had abducted her in the country village of Damankania, in the Sinanya district of Yabara, Guinea. The suspected traffickers kidnapped little Fatoumata in front of her mother at their home. Her father Salif Camara explains: “a young man got out of a vehicle that was parked in front of my compound and snatched our daughter. My wife who was on the scene asked the kidnappers where they were taking her. Without answering they drove off with little Fatoumata. My wife shouted for a motorbike taxi to chase the kidnappers. I immediately alerted the Commander of the Gendarmerie (police) who deployed his team and managed to capture the vehicle. Of the 4 assailants, 2 succeeded in escaping and the other two were arrested.” Accused of trafficking a person with albinism, a man by the name of Mohamed Conté and a woman named Aissata Bangoura were arrested on May 17, 2017, by the Services of the Territorial Gendarmerie (Police) of Kindia. When qquestioned, the abductor named Mohamed Conté admitted that he was a witchdoctor who came to visit another older witchdoctor known as Doubayadi who was also the father of his colleague Aissata Bangoura. (Source: GUINEENEWS.ORG – Kindia: two suspected albino traffickers arrested by gendarmerie; By Mamady Mara; May 24, 2017; https://guineenews.org/kindia- deux-presumes-trafiquants-dalbinos-arretes-gendarmerie/; UTSS partner in Guinea – Mr. Moussa Bangoura, the founder of the local PWA group Confédération nationale des albinos de Guinée (CNAG); Friday May 26, 2017)

Most recent asylum / refuge case: On Thursday, September 20, 2018, a woman with albinism in her mid-thirties from Guinea was granted subsidiary protection in France. The woman first came to France on a student visa which was denied renewal some years ago. Faced with the risk of deportation, she has now been granted a subsidiary protection due to her albinism. (Source: On Sunday, September 30, 2018, a UTSS representative talked directly via telephone to the Guinean woman who was granted subsidiary protection in France.)

Ivory Coast, 30 reports: (PFI 71 of 180) 9 killings / 13 survivors / 4 missing / 2 asylums / 2 abandoned

Most recent survivor: In late June of 2017, a woman with albinism had her 15 month old infant, who did not have albinsm by the name of Collette Ama Koffi, kidnapped from their home in Ivory Coast by a pigmented woman from Benin. The police in Arrah, in the east of the country, found the Beninese woman named Nadège Dassia after she had stolen the child. After four years of trying to give birth to her own child, the abductor passed herself off as a soap seller which easily enabled her to enter the bedroom of the absent mother and snatch the baby. After fleeing the house with the infant in a taxi heading towards KOTOBI ( in east-central of Cote d’ivoire, subprefecture of Arrah), the police were allerted and managed to catch the pair, arrest the kidnapper, rescue the infant and reunite the mother with her child. (Source: koaci.com – Cote d’Ivoire: Beninese woman steals baby from Ivorian mother and gets arrested;

Most recent killing: On June 30, 2017, the lifeless body of a 3-year-old boy with albinism by the name of Sidibe Oumarou was found in a 1 meter deep abandoned well situated behind the town hall of Kani, in the ward of Damasso, in the north west of Ivory Coast. According to first testimonies gathered by Mamidou Coulibaly, this case was not an accident and it appeared that the boy was tragically murdered for ritual purposes and his body thrown in the abandoned well. (Sources: On July 4, 2017, France’s Major PWA group Genespoir published this case on their FaceBook page; http://aip.ci/cote-divoire-le-corps-dun- petit-albinos-retrouve-dans-un-puits-a-kani/; from Benedict Louyer, deputy chairperson, email address genespoir@wanadoo.fr; / also UTSS was in contact with Mamidou Coulibaly, founder and chairperson of the NGO BEDACI, Email: ongbedaci@gmail.com; ongbedaci@yahoo.fr; Phone:+225-05-42-07-39 / +225- 07-67-43-26) Thursday, June 22, 2017; http://koaci.com/m/cote-divoire-dans-limpossibilite-denfanter-beninoise-vole- bebe-dune-maman-ivoirienne-fait-arreter-dans-fuite-110473-i.html).

Asylum account: Julienne is a 29-year old woman with albinism and a mother of a 13-year old daughter and an 8-year old son who, just four days after narrowly escaping a second attack due to her albinism, fled her native Côte d’Ivoire on August 13, 2012 to Tunisia. She was hoping to find a better life in another African country. Shortly after her arrival in Tunisia she obtained refugee status from the UNHCR. Despite her refugee status in Tunisia, Julienne’s life has not improved as much as she had hoped, summarizing her experience by saying: “Here, people slap me, insult me and mock me. I don’t have a job and I am unable to become integrated”. (Source: French Daily Paper “Le Monde” published on May 20, 2013; http://emiliennemalfatto.blog.lemonde.fr/2013/05/20/julienne-29-ans-refugiee-dermatologique/)

Kenya, 13 reports: (PFI 100 of 180) 5 killings / 8 survivors

Most recent killing: On September 20, 2015, a 56 year old man with albinism by the name of Enock Jamenya succumbed to injuries from a brutal machete attack and died. Ten days earlier on September 10, 2015, it was reported that Enock survived a ritual attack by three men armed with pangas at his home in Gavudunyi village, Hamisi Subcounty, Vihiga county, Kenya. “When I told them I did not have any money, they asked for my ear or hand to sell to Tanzania,” he said. A struggle ensued and the attackers sliced his left ear, arm, neck and fingers and left him unconscious. His brother Nickson Lugadiru, also with albinism, said Enock was found in that state by his son, who called for help. Lugadiru took his brother to Hamisi Subcounty Hospital, where he was referred to Vihiga. Enock was operated on for three hours after which medics said he was out of danger. The attack has rekindled concerns over the security of people with albinism ahead of Tanzania’s October elections. “The attackers wanted my brother’s body parts to sell to Tanzania,” said Lugadiru who is one of four PWA in their family. The national coordinator of Kenya’s Albinism Empowerment Network, Martin Wanyonyi, visited Enock at the hospital, condemned the attack and said if the criminals are not apprehended within 48 hours, his network would take to the streets in protest. (Source: theSTAR; Hamisi albino attacked for his body parts; by JOSEPH JAMENYA; September 14, 2015; http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/hamisi-albino-attacked-his-body-parts) / The Telegraph; Kenya’s albinos moved away from Tanzania border amid witch doctor threat; By Aislinn Laing; September 24, 2015; http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/kenya/11885641/Kenyans-albinos-moved-away-from-Tanzania-border-amid-witchdoctor-threat.html)

Most recent survivor: On Friday, March 15, 2013, a 7 year old boy with albinism in Embu, Kenya managed to escape relatives who tried to sell him for ritual purposes. He was kidnapped by his uncle together with other relatives who attempted to take off to an unknown destination where they were to meet the buyers. The boy said that the kidnappers threw him out of the window of a moving vehicle when he screamed. (Source: “7 Year Old Escapes Deathly Ritual,” Citizen News, March 15, 2013, acccessed June 26, 2013, http://www.citizennews.co.ke/news/2012/local/item/8667-7-year-old-escapes-deathly-ritual).

Lesotho, 1 report: (PFI 78 of 180)1 killing
In October of 2015 
a 16 year old girl with albinism by the name of Thaba-Tseka was mutilated in what is suspected to be a case of ritual killing in the country of Lesotho, a country encircled by South Africa. According to police spokesperson, Senior Inspector Clifford Molefe, a woman from the victim’s district arrested in connection with the murder was assisting with investigations. Thaba-Tseka met the suspect at an initiation school where they were both initiates. He declined to disclose more details, saying it would compromise investigations. He went on to say; “We are not in a position to disclose whether the crime was committed as a result of superstitious beliefs or not. All I can say is investigations are ongoing…Once the investigations have been completed, the case will be brought before court and the offenders will face the wrath of the law.” (Source: Sunday EXPRESS: Albino girl mutilated in suspected ritual murder; November 22, 2015; By Pascalinah Kabi; http://sundayexpress.co.ls/albino-girl-mutilated- in-suspected-ritual-murder/).

Madagascar, 1 report: (PFI 54 of 180) 1 killing
On October 17, 2016, 
in the early hours of the morning the lifeless body of an about 28-year-old woman with albinism was found in Bezaha in the district of Betioky, South West Madagascar. She was the victim of a brutal attack leaving her naked body disfigured and her eyes stolen. According to locals, the robbery of PWA’s eyes has reportedly been on the increase as another way to make easy money, a practice that is gradually taking root among the bandits in the region. The residents do not know where to go at the moment. (Source: On January 23, 2017, UTSS discovered this article published by the Madagascar Matin Newspaper; http://www.matin.mg/?p=42939; The publication date is not clear in this article. Translation is provided by UTSS representative, Amadou Diallo.).

*Malawi, 49 reports(PFI 68 of 18017 killings, 22 survivors, 5 missing, 5 grave robberies NOTE: (3 attack in 2019 / 3 attacks in 2018 / 9 attacks in 2017 / 14 attacks in 2016 / 13 attacks in 2015)

*In Malawi more cases have been reported. In 2017, 102 cases were reported by the UN Independent Expert on albinism in the report of her official visit to Malawi. See UN document number: A/HRC/34/59/Add.1 (March 2017). A few months later, in October 2017, the association of persons with albinism in Malawi reported 122 cases (Source: Malawi News Agency (MANA); Lack of finances stalls 122 cases of people with albinism; Wednesday, Oct 25, 2017; http://www.maravipost.com/lack-finances-stalls-122-cases-people-albinism/). Under The Same Sun (UTSS) officially records cases after it has received a sufficient source and data: name of victim, type of attack, date, location, etc. Without access to such detail, UTSS is unable to enter these cases into its records for now; but recognizes that these reports are probably credible due to their sources.

Most recent killing: On December 31, 2018, a 54 year old man with albinism by the name of Yassin Kwenda Phiri was hacked to death at about10:00 PM on New Year’s Eve. This barbaric act took place in front of his 9 year old son after the criminals dragged Yassin out of the bed they were both sleeping in, took him about 20 meters outside of the house, chopped off both arms and fled into the dark with them. Yassin’s son watched his father bleed to death just outside their home in the Kande Trading Center of Nkhata Bay in the Northern Region of Malawi. On January 1, 2019 Police spokesperson Peter Kalaya of Nkhata Bay confirmed the victim’s identity and said Yassin worked as a hospital attendant at the Kande Health Centre. “We have launched a manhunt and we will apprehend the criminals,” he said. On January 2, 2019 Malawi Police Inspector General Rodney Jose told reporters that they were looking for two suspects. A news report on January 7, 2019 said Malawi Police Services had arrested four suspects linked to the murder of Yasin Phiri. (Source: Myasa Times: Another albino killed in Malawi: Kwenda brutally murdered in presence of son, 7; January 1, 2019; By Tiwonge Kumwenda; https://www.nyasatimes.com/another-albino-killed-in-malawi-kwenda-brutally-murdered-in-presence-of- son-7/ ; AIH News:“We must exhume and burry all victims of albino-attacks at State House” Charles Kajoloweka; January 2, 2019; http://www.aihnews.com/we-must-exhume-and-burry-all-victims-of-albino- attacks-at-state-house-charles-kajoloweka/ ; VOA News: Malawi’s Albinos Begin 2019 With Fear of Renewed Attacks; January 03, 2019; By Lameck Masina; https://www.voanews.com/a/malawi-s-albinos- begin-new-year-with-fear-of-renewed-attacks/4727109.html; The African Exponent: U.N. Condemns the Ritual Killings of Albinos in Malawi; https://www.africanexponent.com/post/9616-10000-albinos-in- malawi-face-extinction; January 7, 2019; By Sebastiane Ebatamehi)

Most recent survivor: On the night of February 25, 2019, there was a failed abduction attempt of a 20 month old baby girl with albinism by the name of Noriah Mhango in the Northern Region, Rumphi District of Malawi. While Rumphi police were not available for comment at the time, Overtone Kondowe, president of the Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (APAM), said that “a person had wanted to abduct young Noriah from her parents’ house but the assailant failed after dogs’ barking woke up the community. He [the assailant] wanted to use the window, but after sensing danger, he ran away”. Kondowe also noted that this failed abduction occurred just two kilometres from where an abduction occurred on January 22, 2019, where 18 month of Eunice Nkhonjera was kidnapped from her home and is still missing. (SOURCE: Nyasa Times – Another albino abduction attempt in Rumphi: Apam renews calls ‘to leave Malawi’ for asylum abroad; February 26, 2019; By Pius Nyondo; https://www.nyasatimes.com/another-albino-abduction-attempt-in-rumphi-apam-renews-calls-to-leave- malawi-for-asylum-abroad/)

Most recent missing: On February 13, 2019, a 14-year-old boy with albinism by the name of Goodson Makanjira was abducted in the early hours of Wednesday in the chief Chilikumwendo area, Dedza District, in the Central Region of Malawi. According to his family, six masked men broke into their home while they were sleeping and violently stole Goodson from his bed. One of the family members was slashed when they tried to intervene. Malawi Police spokesperson Kadadzera said “A team of police officers have been discharged to the area; they are on the ground looking for the boy.” Reacting to the attacks, Mr. Overstone Kondowe, President of the Association of People with Albinism in Malawi (APAM) said the government should declare Malawi unsafe for people with albinism. (Source: Malawi24 – 14-year- old boy with albinism abducted in Dedza; February 13, 2019; by Russel Kondowe; https://malawi24.com/2019/02/13/14-year-old-boy-with-albinism-abducted-in-dedza/)

Second most recent missing: On January 22, 2019, a 1 & 1/2 year old little girl with albinism by the name of Unice Nkhonjera was noticed missing at about 4 AM. She had been sleeping with her mother, Loness Nkhonjera (28), in the village of Malongo, Traditional Authority of Wasambo, Karonga District, Malawi. It is believed that little Unice was abducted by unknown kidnappers. (Source: Mr Tengamowa Induna reported it to Mr. Overstone Mkwapatira Kondowe who is the Acting National Director for the Association of Persons with Albinism of Malawi – APAM; Email: okondowe@gmail.com; Mobile: +265 881 132 9028)

Most recent grave robbery: On July 15, 2017, it was discovered that the grave of an elderly woman with albinism by the name of Norwin Nkhonjera was tampered with in an attempt to exhume the body at Mbulunji in the Rumphi District of Malawi. Relatives of the deceased made the discovery on Saturday when they went to the graveyard for a memorial service and reported the matter to police. Rumphi Police Station spokesman Victor Khamisi said that Norwin Nkhonjera had died over 13 years ago on January 10, 2004, and that unknown criminals had recently disturbed the grave but failed to exhume the body. “We went to the grave and established that the body was not exhumed,” said Kamisi and indicated that Police are investigating the matter. (Source: Nyasa Times – Gang attempted to exhume body of albino grave in Rumphi; July 19, 2017; by Judith Moyo: https://www.nyasatimes.com/gang-attempted-exhume- body-albino-grave-rumphi/)

Mali, 17 reports: (PFI 112 of 180) 5 killings / 3 survivors / 2 missing / 7 asylums
Most recent killing: On May 13, 2018, a five year old girl with albinism by the name of Djeneba Diarra was kidnapped from her home in the middle of the night and later found
beheaded in the village of Fana, about 125 Km from Bamako, the capital of Mali. AFP reports that according to police, armed men abducted and beheaded the five-year-old girl with albinism in what was feared to be a ritual murder for supposedly magic body parts. Little Djeneba Diarra “was sleeping in the courtyard with her mother and her sister” when the men snatched her at around 2:00 am on Sunday. The girl’s mother pursued the kidnappers, who scaled a wall with her child, but then turned back to protect her second daughter, also with albinism. “We searched for the little girl everywhere. We found her body beside a mosque, but she had no head,” said a village teacher, Oumar Diakite. Sissoko, the general secretary of the Federation of Associations of Persons with Albinism in West Africa (FAPAO), pointed out the link between crimes against people with albinism and political events, ahead of Mali’s presidential election on July 29. “Every time there are elections, we become prey for people who want to make ritual sacrifices. This is not the first time this has happened in Fana,” he said. “The state needs to take up its responsibilities.” “We demand justice. Her head was taken. This is a ritual crime,” activist Mamadou Sissoko told AFP after going to the scene. The governor of the region of Koulikoro, Colonel Mamary CAMARA, the director general of the national gendarmerie, the Commander of the Legion of gendarmerie were on the crime scene, and went to the morgue to see the body of the beheaded little girl. Traditional authorities have been approached to help appease tensions. (Source: AFP-Outcry in Mali after albino child beheaded in ‘ritual’ murder; May 15, 2018; https://www.yahoo.com/news/outcry-mali-albino-child- beheaded-ritual-murder-110618567.html; and on May 13, 2018, UTSS was contacted by Mamadou Sissoko, the general secretary of the albinism association in Mali, who confirmed the attack; Email address: sissoko3000@yahoo.fr; Tel: +223-73396374/+223-99452599)

Most recent survivor: Early in August 2017 a 13 year old boy with albinism narrowly escaped abduction in Goloninia, located in the Bamako district of Mali. Fortunately for the child, the Salif Keita Foundation for people with albinism in Mali intervened and the perpetrator was arrested. Nantenin Keita, the daughter of Salif Keita, says; “He was released on bail awaiting a date of trial – we don’t know yet. I fear we will never see him again. Our assistant in Bamako underwent a lot of pressure in order to withdraw the complaint, but we didn’t give up. We feared the boy’s family was scared and would withdraw the complaint, but they did not. It’s truly a good step forward.” (Source: Excerpts of an interview with Nantenin Keita (Salif Keita’s daughter) to Françoise WASSERVOGEL, correspondent of the Malian paper “Le Reporter” in France. The article was posted by Genespoir on their Facebook page on November 19, 2017. The article was published on November 15, 2015: http://maliactu.net/mali-ne-touchez-pas-aux- albinos-nantenin-keita-de-la-fondation-salif-keita-fait-le-point/)

Most recent missing: In 2006, the abduction of a baby boy with albinism occurred in Mali. On that fatal night the mother had decided to sleep outside in their yard so that her infant son could enjoy the fresh air. Upon waking the next morning she found that her baby was gone. (Source: An interview of Tierno Diallo on Radio France International on May 20, 2009 called “Invité Afrique” presented by Journalist Christophe Boisbouvier. Tierno is a man with albinism who founded the Malian albinism association in 1993 called SOS Albinos. He was later appointed Minister in Charge of Faith Affairs in 2013 under President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.)

Asylum: On July 29, 2011, Ms. Rokia Kone, a woman with albinism from Mali received asylum in France.

Mozambique, 48 reports: (PFI 103 of 180) 16 murders, 13 survivors, 5 grave robberies, 14 missingNOTE: (2 attacks in 2019 to date / 2 attack in 2018 / 9 attacks in 2017 / 11 attacks in 2016 / 20 attacks in 2015 / 1 attack in 2014 / 1 attack in 2011 / 2 attacks in 2009)

Most recent murder: During the weekend of March 1 – 3, 2019, unidentified individuals who are still at large kidnapped and murdered a 12-year-old girl with albinism whose name remains unknown in Chimbonila district, Niassa province, northern Mozambique. The assailants broke into the victim’s home as she and her relatives were sleeping and threatened the family with a weapon before making off with the child. As soon as the incident was reported, the police, with the help of members of the community, began a series of urgent searches which resulted in the finding of the girl’s dismembered torso. (Source: Club of Mozambique – Albino killers strike again in Mozambique, March 4, 2019,https://clubofmozambique.com/news/albino-killers-strike-again-in-mozambique/)

Most recent survivor: On January 15, 2018, Mozambican police announced that it had aborted an attempt to kidnap an 11 year child with albinism in the central province of Zambezia, near the border of Malawi, Mozambique. The child had been targeted by a gang of five traffickers in human body parts. By the time police were able to intervene and rescue the child; the gang had shaved his head and cut off his ears. “We are on the trail of the other members of this gang believed to be those who ordered this macabre crime”, said Zambezia provincial police spokesperson Miguel Caetano at a Monday press conference in Quelimane, the provincial capital. (Source: CLUB OF MOZAMBIQUE: Police rescue albino child from traffickers; Source: AIM; January 16, 2018; http://clubofmozambique.com/news/police-rescue-albino- child-from-traffickers/)

Most recent grave robbery: During the first week of May, 2016, the grave of a man with albinism was violated and robbed in a family cemetery in the northern city of Nampula neighbourhood of Namutequliua, Mozambique. The grave raiders allegedly removed the body, cut off the arms, and then dumped the rest of the body in a bush near the cemetery. On May 11, 2016, Nampula provincial police spokesperson Zacarias Nacute reported that Mozambican police arrested eight people for tampering with the grave. Police said the grave contained the body of an albino citizen and the gang raided it to steal body parts. Thanks to the investigations undertaken by the police, it was possible first to arrest three of the suspects who had a bag containing 16 fragments of bone from the body. Later we managed to arrest the other five criminals, said Nacute. The public broadcaster reported that the suspects confessed to the crime. Two of the grave robbers were witchdoctors, recruited both to assist in selling the bones, and to use magic that would prevent the criminals from being caught. (Source: StarAfrica.com; Mozambique nabs eight for inteferring with albino grave; May 12, 2016; Posted by APA; http://en.starafrica.com/news/mozambique- nabs-eight-for-inteferring-with-albino-grave.html)

Most recent missing: On February 28, 2019, a six-year-old boy with albinism whose name remains unknown was kidnapped near the community of Larde, Moma District, Nampula Province in north-eastern Mozambique. Apparently three criminals decided to attack after discovering that the child would be at home alone with their elderly grandmother. According to newspaper sources, the grandmother could not identify the people who had kidnapped her grandson, but the truth is that she knows the three men. The whereabouts of the unidentified attackers remains unknown. The Mozambican police (PRM) in Nampula province say they are already investigating the case for possible arrest and criminal responsibility of the kidnappers. “We have already referred this case to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, but we also continue to investigate the case,” said Zacarias Nacute, a PRM spokesman in Nampula. (Source: A Facebook post made by Kanimambo Albinism Group in Mozambique on March 4, 2019, titled Kanimambo – Associacao de Apoio ao Albinismo, https://www.facebook.com/MKanimambo/; Google Translator: IKWELI – ALBINOS AGAIN HAVE DIFFICULT DAYS IN NAMPULA; March 5, 2019, https://www.ikweli.co.mz/2019/03/05/albinos-voltam-a-ter-dias-dificeis-em-nampula/)

Namibia, 3 reports: (PFI 23 of 180) 1 survivor / 2 killings

Most recent killing: In June of 2010 Ananias Shifotoka, a young man with albinism
from Uukwiyuwuushona Village in Oshikoto Region was found brutally murdered days after he went missing. His decomposing body was found in a bush cut into pieces with his head removed as well as his genitals, tongue, hands and toes missing. (Source: NEW ERA News Paper for a New Namibia, 29-June- 2010)

Most recent survivor: On Saturday, May 12, 2012 a 16 year old girl with albinism
claims to have been raped by 44 year old man. Prior to the rape he had been visiting the victim and enticed her with money and promises of a shiny car, cattle and marriage. They went for a ride that day and on their return to the village, the accused forced his victim into one of his abandoned buildings, where he is alleged to have raped her. This was confirmed by the victim herself. On Monday, May 21 2012 the suspected rapist was denied bail in Oshakati Magistrate Court. The accused, Jonas Mathias, known as Iingumu Netsali (44), was from a village near Ongwediva where he was arrested by the police. The case of Mathias was postponed by Magistrate Mika Namweya to 27 June 2012 for further investigation. (Source: Informante’, May 23, 2012)

Niger, 1 report: (PFI 66 of 180) 1 missing

Missing & Presumed Dead – On the 17th day of the 2012 Islamic month of Ramadan in Niger (likely August 6, 2012), a young man born with albinism in 1986 by the name of Seyni Hama went missing in the ward of Dar es Salam in the capital city of Niamey, Niger. He has not been seen since. On September 13 & 20, 2014, Ms. Kadidjatou Moumouni, leader and founder of the PWA association in Niger interviewed the victims’ family and neighbours to confirm Seyni’s disappearance. Both parties told her that the abduction did in fact take place. At the time Seyni went missing, his family reported the case to the Police who did their investigation, but sadly were not able to find him. Two of Seyni’s brothers also have albinism. (Source: On September 20, 2014, UTSS interviewed Ms. Kadidjatou Moumouni, leader and founder of the PWA group in Niger; ANAN Niger – anan2013.niger@yahoo.com)

Nigeria, 12 reports: (PFI 120 of 180) 4 killings / 1 missing / 5 asylums / 2 survivors

Most recent killing: In April of 2013 a woman with albinism was found dead with some
of her body organs missing at Okuta, a border town at Baruten Local Government Area of Kwara State, Nigeria. (Source: TheGuardian Nigeria, Friday, April 19, 2013, 19:32; From Abiodun Fagbemi, Ilorin)

Missing report: In April of 2013 a woman with albinism went missing according to her relatives. She was a resident around Saw Mill area in the city of Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria. (Source: TheGuardian Nigeria, Friday, April 19, 2013, 19:32; From Abiodun Fagbemi, Ilorin)

Most recent asylum: On February 13, 2017, a Judge in France recognizes refugee status to a Nigerian man with albinism who was stigmatized and a victim of persecutions in his homeland. (Source: COUR NATIONALE DU DROIT D’ASILE; 14 février 2017; http://www.cnda.fr/Ressources- juridiques-et-geopolitiques/Actualite-jurisprudentielle/Selection-de-decisions-de-la-CNDA/Nigeria- le-juge-de-l-asile-reconnait-la-qualite-de-refugie-a-un-demandeur-d-asile-stigmatise-et-victime-de- persecutions-du-fait-de-son-appartenance-au-groupe-social-des-albinos; Court’s decision: http://www.cnda.fr/content/download/91325/876093/version/1/file/CNDA%2013%20février%202017%20 M.%20E.%20n°%2016017097%20C.pdf)

Rwanda, 1 report: (PFI 155 0f 180) 1 grave robbery
On July 2, 2013
, authorities of the Macuba sector in Nyamasheke district in Rwanda were notified that the grave of Nyirahakuzimana Consolee, a woman with albinism buried eight months earlier, had been found desecrated and empty. Nyamasheke district mayor, Habyarimana Jean Baptiste, confirmed the grave tampering. He noted that it was difficult to determine who was behind the incidence, but that the coffin and cloths of the deceased were found scattered about 700 meters from the grave. (Source: Online media: Œil d’Afrique – Article published on July 03, 2013 http://oeildafrique.com/le-cadavre-dun-albinos- vole-au-rwanda/ ; IGIHE.com Published on 3-07-2013 http://en.igihe.com/news/body-of-albino-stolen- from-grave.html)

Senegal, 9 reports: (PFI 49 of 180) 3 alleged killings / 4 survivors / 2 asylum
3 alleged killings: 
Three unproven murders of people with albinism are alleged to be linked to the March, 2012 elections in Senegal. Several different sources have purported 1 killing in 2012 and 2 killings in 2010. These charges were actually made by President Abdoulaye Wade but apparently not at the same time:

  • –  In 2012 during the electoral campaign, President Abdoulaye said before the steering committee of his ownpolitical party (the Senegalese Democratic Party PDS): “Some people told me that Pape DIOP killed a PWA they brought from Mali”(Source – Article: “Another GRAVE revelation from Wade”, Wednesday, May 30, 2012, http://www.rewmi.com/ & Article: “MEETING OF THE STEERING COMMITTEE OF THE PDS: Wade accuses Pape Diop of killing an albino”, Wednesday May 30, 2012, http://www.walf- groupe.com/ )
  • –  In July of 2010 Abdoulaye Wade accused the regime of his predecessor Abdou DIOUF and his political party, the Socialist Party (PS), “of the mysterious deaths of two young female albinos whose disappearance was never clarified”. (Source – WikiLeaks, December 17, 2010)

Most recent survivor: On September 8, 2014, an 8 year old boy with albinism by the name of Mohamed Diop was fortunately released by his kidnappers in Thies, a city located about 70 km East of Dakar, the capital city of Senegal. Mohamed was on his way home when accosted by occupants in a black 4×4 who forced him into the vehicle and drove away. Providentially a local-taxi driver witnessed the scene and gave chase while raising the alarm. This alerted people near the vehicle and the assailants ending up stopping and throwing the boy out. Mohamed was then taken to his mother by the taxi driver. (Source: Report received by UTSS on Friday, January 16, 2015 from Mr. Mouhamadou Bamba Diop, Chairperson of the Senegal PWA Group – association nationale des albinos du Sénégal – ANAS)

AsylumOn June 17, 2015, legal history was made yet again in the USA when a man with albinism from Senegal (he wishes to remain anonymous) who underwent severe persecution due to his albinism was granted asylum in New York City, New York. (Source: His lawyer at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP, One New York Plaza, New York, NY 10004; friedfrank.com)

South Africa, 9 reports: (PFI 31 of 180) 4 killings / 2 missing / 2 survivors / 1 grave robbery

Most recent killing: On January 28, 2018, a 14 year old girl with albinism by the name of Gabisile Simphiwe Shabani was abducted and later killed in Hlalanikahle Township -Witbank Mpumalanga, South Africa. The family woke up to the sound of commotion made by three men breaking a window and entering at gun point to abduct Gabisile. They also took her 15-month old nephew, Nkosikhona Ngwenya‚ who did not have albinism but was allegedly mistaken for another child from the same household who also has albinism. Gabisile’s young body was found 3 weeks later on February 21. The remains indicated that she had been decapitated, with her arms and private parts removed. The shallow grave was discovered in Cullinan Pretoria which is about 81 km way from her home. The infant was discovered on the N4 highway with exact location not disclosed. On February 20, 2018, Thokozani Msibi (32), a traditional healer from Swaziland living in South Africa, was arrested after police found a human head and other human body parts at his home. He confessed to the brutal killing of the two children and identified the location of the shallow grave. He appeared in Witbank Magistrate’s Court at which time he was also applying for bail which Magistrate Darleen Venter denied. The first court appearance was on February 21, 2018, where he was remanded in custody with the second court appearance on February 27, 2018. The next court date was on the 6th of March, 2018, with investigations still ongoing since the other two suspects have not been apprehended. (Source: Sent February 28, 2018 by Commissioner Nomasonto G. Mazibuko; National Director; Albinism Society of South Africa; 187 Lara’s Place , Bree Street; Johannesburg, 2000; Tel: +2711 838-6529; Fax: +2711 492-0276; Mobile: +2782 755-3884; Email: mazibukong@gmail.com; www.albinism.org.za; and; IOL; Police find two bodies believed to be linked to albino abduction case; February 22, 2018; https://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/mpumalanga/police- find-two-bodies-believed-to-be-linked-to-albino-abduction-case-13412236; and TheCitizen (ANA); Family of murdered Mpumalanga children, one an albino, live in fear; February 24, 2018; by Balise Mabona; https://citizen.co.za/news/south-africa/1833571/family-of-murdered-mpumalanga-children-one- an-albino-live-in-fear/ ; and IOL; WATCH: Human head, body parts found at murder; March 6, 2018; ANA Reporter; https://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/mpumalanga/watch-human-head-body-parts- found-at-murder-accuseds-home-13626375; TimesLIVE; Horror as albino corpse’s body parts stolen; 15 March 2018; BY KGAUGELO MASWENENG; https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/south-africa/2018-03- 15-horror-as-albino-corpses-body-parts-stolen/)

Most recent survivor: On June 28, 2016, a 12 year old boy with albinism went missing but days later was found and survived an attempted sale for ritual purposes in the little town of eManguzi in the northern province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, just 15 kilometers from the Mozambique border. On July 6, 2016, SABC NEWS reported that Provincial police spokesperson Nqobile Gwala says the suspect, a 28-year-old woman, was arrested last week at eManguzi after attempting to sell a 12-year old boy with albinism for R 100 000. The arrest resulted after the traditional healer she was trying to sell the child to, James Mthembu, alerted the police and a trap was set. Mthembu said that when the woman offered him the children, he played along, before going to the Child Protection and Sexual Offences Investigations Unit at Jozini, which set up a sting operation with detectives from Richards Bay. Mthembu is known for his stance against the killing of albinos for muti purposes and has led marches to the magistrate’s courts. The suspect’s attempts for bail have been denied in Ubombo Magistrate’s Court, and she is still in custody. The little boy has been reunited with his family and is receiving counselling. (Source: SABC NEWS; Woman jailed for trying to sell a child with albinism; July 6, 2016; http://www.sabc.co.za/news/a/f92df9004d640599ae01ee4b5facb1b5/Woman-jailed-for-trying-to-sell-a- child-with-albinism-20160706; iolNews: Can I sell you an albino child?; July 9, 2016; by Staff Reporter; http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/can-i-sell-you-an-albino-child-2043617; News24: Praise after one albino child saved, but second still missing; by Sabelo Nsele; July 7, 2016;http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/praise-after-one-albino-child-saved-second-still-missing- 20160706; This attack was confirmed on July 27, 2016, by the office of Commissioner Nomasonto G. Mazibuko, National Director of the Albinism Society of South Africa, 187 Lara’s Place, Bree Street, Johannesburg, 2000, Tel: +2711 838-6529, Fax: +2711 492-0276, Mobile: +2782 755-3884, Email: mazibukong@gmail.com, www.albinism.org.za)

Most recent missing: On June 21, 2016, a 4 year old boy with albinism by the name of Maneliswa Ntombela, also known as Mlungu, was kidnapped and is still missing from Port Dunford near Richards Bay, Mkhoboza at eSikhaleni, outside eMpangeni in the north of the KwaZulu-Natal province in South Africa. The family says that Mlungu was playing with his cousin at a church several meters from his home. The victim’s cousin told Mlungu’s mother, Qhaphi Ntombela, that two men abducted him and they also referred to him by name. On Friday police arrested a 28-year-old woman in Emanguzi while looking for Mlungu saying their investigation revealed the woman had been arranging to sell another child with albinism in the area for R100 000 to a local traditional healer. They suspect she may also be involved with Mlungu’s disappearance. His mother is pleased with the latest development in the case saying “I hadn’t heard of the arrest from police. I’ve no words to describe how I feel about the arrest but I haven’t lost hope and I won’t ever lose hope”. As of July 27, 2016, police are still busy following leads but little Mlungu is still missing. The Albinism Society of South Africa is also monitoring this case and we will keep UTSS informed. (Source: RadioVoP: Shock As Albino Boy Kidnapped In South Africa’s KZN; June 27, 2016; http://www.radiovop.com/index.php/africans-news/14008-shock-as-albino-boy-kidnapped-in-south-africa- s-kzn.html & ECRnews: Mother’s last hope to find missing Esikhawini boy: July 6, 2016; by Anelisa Kubheka; https://www.ecr.co.za/news-sport/news/mothers-last-hope-find-missing-esikhawini-boy/; News24: Praise after one albino child saved, but second still missing; by Sabelo Nsele; July 7, 2016; http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/praise-after-one-albino-child-saved-second-still-missing- 20160706; iolNews: Can I sell you an albino child?; July 9, 2016; by Staff Reporter; http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/can-i-sell-you-an-albino-child-2043617; This attack was confirmed on July 27, 2016, by the office of Commissioner Nomasonto G. Mazibuko, National Director of the Albinism Society of South Africa, 187 Lara’s Place, Bree Street, Johannesburg, 2000, Tel: +2711 838- 6529, Fax: +2711 492-0276, Mobile: +2782 755-3884, Email: mazibukong@gmail.com, www.albinism.org.za)

Swaziland (Eswatini), 11 reports: (PFI 147 of 180) 3 killings / 7 survivors

Most recent killings: In May of 2016 in Nkoyoyo, Swaziland, a man with albinism by the name of Sipho Mahlalela was murdered by his wife, Pinky Zikalala. She hired 2 men to kill her husband and then tried to sell his corpse to a traditional healer (name withheld) who allegedly entered into an agreement with her. He is now the subject of intense police investigation. The wife along with the two men have since been arrested and charged for the murder. Prior to their arrest, Pinky Zikalala took the traditional healer to see the corpse at which time she asked to be paid for keeping her end of the agreement. The traditional healer is said to have backed out of the deal because he wanted Mahlalela to be brought to him alive since he needed the blood of a person with albinism for ritual purposes. (Source: TIMES OF SWAZILAND; WIFE ACCUSED OF SELLING ALBINO’S CORPSE TO INYANGA; May 27, 2016; BY THEMBINKOSI MAVIMBELA; http://www.times.co.sz/news/108061-wife-accused-of-selling-albino%E2%80%99s- corpse-to-inyanga.html)

Most recent survivors: 4 SURVIVORS OF THE SAME ATTACK: On September 02, 2013, 4 men with albinism were attacked and seriously injured in the town of Mankayane next to Manzini, in Swaziland. Mr. Vilakati received this information from the victims’ families and reported it to UTSS. He was able to visit 2 of the 4 victims in hospital; one called Thulane (19) and the other Ndzinisa (24); the other 2 remain unidentified. (Source: Mr. Dalton Vilakati, a PWA and recently appointed Member of Parliament in Swaziland – Phone number: +268-763-604-80)

World Press Freedom Index Trend for Tanzania: 2008 – 70 of 173

2009 – 62 of 175
2010 – 41 of 178
2011 & 12 – 34 of 179 2013 – 70 of 179
2014 – 69 of 180
2015 – 75 of 180
2016 – 71 of 180
2017 – 83 of 180
2018 – 93 of 180
2019 – 118 of 180

Tanzania, 187 reports: (PFI 118 of 180) All Tanzanian information on killings and attacks are gathered by UTSS through its field work and research; reports from victim’s families and police reports in Tanzania.

76 killings
84 survivors; all are deeply traumatized and some severely mutilated 1 missing
23 grave violations
3 asylums

Most recent killing: On Tuesday, February 17, 2015, the mutilated remains of a 1 year old baby boy with albinism by the name of Yohana Bahati were discovered by police in Shilabela Mapinduzi Sub-Village, a few kilometers from his home in Isabilo Sub-Vilage of Ilelema Village, Iparamasa Ward of Chato District, Geita Region, Tanzania. Both of Yohana’s arms and legs were hacked off. Two days earlier five unidentified men armed with machetes attacked the homestead. Three of them seized Misalaba (father) while two of them forced their way into the house where Ester (mother) was preparing the evening meal. Misalaba managed to fight off the attackers and ran away leaving his wife behind with two children with albinism, one year old Yohana and his 3 year old sister Tabu. One of the assailants slashed Ester’s face and body rendering her unconscious while the second grabbed little Yohana and ran away. Ester remained in serious condition in Bugando Referral Hospital in Mwanza City even after doctors operated on the machete lacerations sustained while trying in vain to protect her baby boy. A police search is underway and Yohana’s father is being held in remand prison. No other arrests have been made at the time of this report. (SOURCE: UTSS interviews with Deputy Director of Public Prosecution Ms. Neema Ringo in Dar es Salaam and Iparamasa Ward Executive Officer (WEO), Christopher Mabuba who confirmed the attack.)

Most recent survivor: On January 15, 2019, there was a failed kidnapping attempt perpetrated against a 19 year old man with albinism by the name of Eliya Sambeke Mollel in Ndulele village, Naiyobi Ward, Ngorongoro District in the Arusha Region of Tanzania. At 4:00 PM on that day Eliya was grazing cattle under the scorching sun when 2 strangers gave chase with obvious intentions to harm him.

Fortunately he was able to outrun them and hide. When he finally made his way home and inform his mother, she told him to prepare for a trip to Loliondo District to seek help. They woke early the following morning and walked over 50 kilometers to the village of Ngaraselo where they caught the nearest coach to Loliondo. Eliya is part of a Maasai family where his father, Sambeke Mollel, has 19 children from 4 wives. Eliya is the only one with albinism. While his mother loves him, his father has rejected him and forbidden his mother to help in any way. In addition to the rejection, his father attempted to attack him with a machete and told his mother he would do the same to her if she got involved. While Eliya is not loved, welcome or safe in his own home, he is safer now that he has been brought to Loliondo Town Council by his mother to meet the Social Welfare Officer. He was given sanctuary by a Good Samaritan more than 300 kilometers from his home. Elia told UTSS that if he goes back to school he will make sure he passes all of his exams because he wants to become a doctor. He is ready to go back to school and hopes to attend a special program at a school in Kilimanjaro where older students like him are accommodated in completing their education prior to university. At the time of this report the two unknown criminals were still at large but the following people are aware of the attack and planning to investigate; OC CID Ngorongoro Superintendent of Police (SP) Mathayo – 0784912330/0768056462; Assistant Inspector of Police Samweli Kichambati Ngorongoro – 0689976325/0754801554; and Police Officer Daniel Shija Ngorongoro Conservation – 0758714671. (Source: On January 19, 2019, UTSS was notified about this attack by the Ngorongoro District Social Welfare Officer – SWO and the Police in Ngorongoro District. Our First Response Team visited the scene of the crime from January 23 – 26, 2019, and interviewed the SWO in Ngorongoro as well as the Police in Ngorongoro, the Ndulele Village Chairperson, and the Naiyobi Village Executive Officer – VEO and Ward Executive Officer – WEO)

Second most recent survivor: THIS CASE COUNTS AS 3 ATTACKS: On January, 5, 2019, there was a failed kidnapping attempt perpetrated against a 7 year old boy with albinism by the name of Alphonce Paul George in Kawekamo Village, Fukalo Ward, Subdivision of Mwambashimba in Kwimba District, in the Mwanza Region of Tanzania. Alphonce has been living with his grandmother, Mrs. Lejina Mayeka, since the age of three when his parents, Mrs. Neema Marko (25) and Mr. Paul George, moved away and left him in her care. She told UTSS that her little grandson has now miraculously escaped three kidnapping attempts, the first in 2015 at the age of 3, the second on August 16, 2018, at the age of 6 and now this most recent one at age 7. After the first attempt, the grandmother tried to get Alphonce enrolled at Mitindo Primary School, a special needs government school that also serves as a sanctuary for children with albinism who are at risk. They refused to accept Alphonce saying that he was too young. After the second kidnapping attempt in August of 2018, she reported the matter to the Village Executive Officer (VEO), Mr. Sanda Henry who immediately reported it to the Hungumalwa Police Post as well as the Kwimba District Commissioner (DC) and the office of Social Welfare Officer, requesting Alphonce be admitted into the Mitindo School. A prompt response from the DC’s office ensured that he was admitted into Mitindo School on August 30, 2018. Grandmother went on to say that the third and most recent attempt, in January of 2019, occurred while Alphonce was at home on school break with only two days remaining before he was to return. Alphonce is once again safe at Mitindo Primary School in Mwanza where he has been enrolled as a kindergarten pupil for the 2019 academic year. UTSS First Response Team visited little Alphonce at Mitindo Special Need School and met with the school’s Head Teacher, Madam Jane D. Kibungi who said Alphonce is very charming and intelligent. She is proud to have Alphonce in her school and hopes he will succeed in his long academic journey. Because the attackers are still at large, UTSS has advised both the grandmother and the Tanzania Albinism Society Chairman for Mwanza, Mr. Alfred Kapole, to follow up with this case to ensure they get the RB case number since it has been reported to the police. For more specific information about each of the 3 attacks, please contact UTSS atinfo@underthesamesun.com. (Source: On January 19, 2019, UTSS was notified about the attack by the Tanzania Albinism Society (TAS) Chairman for Mwanza, Mr. Alfred Kapole 0763831793. UTSS First Response Team visited the scene of the crime on January 28 – 29, 2019, and interviewed Alphonce’s grandmother, Mrs. Lejina Mayeka – 0746213773; Kawekamo Village Executive Officer, Mr. Sanda Henry – 062951583; Sungusungu Secretary Kawekamo, Mr. Richard Makaji Lutema – 0763814259 and Mitindo Head teacher, Mrs. Jane Kabungi – 0764601106)

Most recent survivor of rape: On October 20, 2017, a thirty year old woman with albinism by the name of Zainabu Kulandeya survived an attempted rape by Bundala Luhende, age 20, at around 11:00 AM at her parents’ house in Mhunze Village, Kishapu District, Shinyanga Region, northwestern Tanzania. That day Zainabu was home alone when the perpetrator, who was unknown to them and not from their neighbourhood, arrived at the door claiming to be hungry and in need of food. When Zainabu told him that there was no food in the house he proceeded to offer her money in exchange for sexual favours. She declined and asked him to leave, at which time the man started forcing himself on her. Zainabu began to scream and a neighbour came to her rescue. The criminal escaped but was chased down by villagers, captured and handed over to the police. The perpetrator is now in custody at Kishapu Police Station waiting to be arraigned in court on November 07, 2017. While Zainabu survived and is safe and in the care of her parents, she is frightened and psychologically affected by the whole ordeal! The UTSS First Response Team has asked the Kishapu District Commissioner to ensure that Zainabu gets proper counseling and sent to a Vocational Training Centre where she can do something that would generate income instead of staying at home in isolation. They also asked the Community Development Officer to link her with a women’s self- help group. (Source: Initial report on October 25, 2017, from partners in the Kagera Region and the Tanzania Albinism Society (TAS) in Simiyu. On October 27 – 30, 2017, the UTSS First Response Team visited and interviewed the victim, her family, neighbours, police, social welfare department, community development department and the offices of the District Commissioner and District Executive Director after which an Understanding Albinism Seminar was also conducted for all.)

Most recent missing: On December 27, 2014, a 4 year old girl with albinism by the name of Pendo Emmanuel was abducted in Ndamhi Village of Fukalo Ward, Kwimba District, Mwanza Region, Tanzania. The police have arrested 15 suspects in connection with the kidnapping. Three of the arrestees are relatives: Pendo’s paternal grandfather, maternal grandfather and her mother. Due to the fact that her mother had just given birth to a baby girl with albinism and prison would not be appropriate for the baby, the Mwanza Regional Commissioner has ordered them to be sent to an alternative secured environment. The police have also set up a search party to look for Pendo. (Source: UTSS interview with Tanzanian police and Ndamhi Village Executive Officer as well as newspapers reports including: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-2903078/UN-demands-investigation-albino-girl- abduction.html; http://allafrica.com/stories/201501080704.html;http://dailynews.co.tz/index.php/dailynews/39960-proven-albino-killers-must-be-severely-punhed; http://www.dailynews.co.tz/index.php/local-news/40153-rc-gives-mwanza-village-five-days-to-find-msing- albino-girl; http://www.ippmedia.com/frontend/index.php?l=76048)

Most recent grave violation: On the night of April 23, 2019, the remains of a deceased man with albinism by the name of Amani Anyelwisye Kalyembe, who had been buried on February 7, 2015, were exhumed and stolen from his grave by unidentified criminals in the Mahenge suburb, Ibililo Village, Nkunga Ward, Rungwe District, Mbeya Region in the south of Tanzania. One of the relatives of the late Amani was implicated and he is under police custody. Amani’s father, Ngumbe Kalyembe Ndumbo, is so old that he couldn’t remember his own age. During the night of the robbery, criminals locked the doors of his house from outside. He was not aware of this since he was fast asleep. It wasn’t until in the morning that he realized the grave of his son, which is on his property, had been disturbed. The matter was reported to the Kiwira Police Station who in turn went to the scene of the incident. After several consultations the police decided to unearth the already disturbed grave to find out exactly what had happened. They found an empty casket with the remains stolen. Amini’s father said that before the police left the scene, they ordered local leaders to arrange a villagers meeting in order to identify those responsible. When the meeting was called, the villagers cast their secret ballots and two of the residents of Mahenge suburb were implicated, one of who was Amani’s young brother, Baraka Anyelwisye Kalyembe. He is currently under police custody for further investigations. The second accused person is said to have fled to an unknown destination. The Ibililo Village Executive Officer (VEO), Jane John Mwalukindu, together with Ibililo Village Chairman, Mpoki Wilson Mwambakila, said the incident has not only shocked the family but also the villagers at large, including government leaders at all levels of administration in the region of Mbeya.

They are still wondering how intruders could come all the way to their village and commit such a serious offence without being noticed by the villagers! “These strangers could not be alone. I know some of the villagers helped them. We will deal with it.” Jane Mwalukindu insisted. (Sources: April 24th, 2019, a UTSS resource person in Mbeya, William Simwali, called in this report; Nairobi (AFP): Tanzania albinos say they fear for lives after exhumation, April 28, 2019, https://news.yahoo.com/tanzania-albinos-fear-lives- exhumation-135245156.html; From April 29 to May 3rd, 2019, the UTSS First Response Mission investigated and Reported on the grave robbery in Mahenge Suburb, Ibililo Village in Rungwe District – Mbeya Region, conducting interviews with the Ibililo Village Chairman, Mpoki Wilson Mwambakila – 0769405031, Ibililo Village Executive Officer, Jane John Mwalukindu – 0753173452, Amani’s father, Ngumbe Kalyembe Ndumbo; and Tanzania Albinism Society Chairman in Rungwe District, Abraham Mwambungu – 0766271589)

3 asylums:
On July 28, 2017, 
a man with albinism from Tanzania was granted refugee status in Vancouver, Canada.
On June 27, 2017, a man with albinism from Tanzania was granted asylum in Chicago, Illinois.
On July 27, 2016, two sisters with albinism from Tanzania who underwent brutal attack and profound discrimination due to their albinism were granted asylum in the state of California, USA.

NOTE: The first actual police documented murder of PWA in Tanzania was that of Arif in 2006.

Togo, 1 report: (PFI 76 of 180) 1 killing
Most recent killing: On September 23, 2017
, a 2 year old boy with albinism by the name of Nanhladja Monnoble was reported missing between 8:00 and 9:00 PM in the city of Dapaong in the locality of Pana Bagou in northern Togo, West Africa. The little boy was later found dead and burried. It was reported that the victim’s body was supposed to be exhumed on the third day following his burial and taken to the neighbouring country of Benin to serve in witchcraft practices for the purpose of bringing riches. Some of the 4 suspected murderers have been arrested and are currently in the hands of the local police. The Togo Albinism Association ANAT says “We have a video footage of the burial of the little boy. We firmly condemn this act and demand your support to say NO to these acts in our country.” (Source: UTSS was contacted on September 28, 2017, by the Togo Albinism Association: Association nationale des albinos du Togo (ANAT); Chairperson: Mr. Souradji OURO-YONDOU; Secretary: Mr. Abdoul Karim Nassirou; Email address: albitogo@yahoo.fr)

Uganda, 8 reports: (PFI 125 of 180) 8 survivors

Most recent survivor: This report counts as 2 separate PWA attacks – On October 7, 2016, 2 boys with albinism were kidnapped in the village of Bujuko in Central Uganda. They are part of a family with many children among whom four have albinism. The mother is facing many challenges after separating from her husband who wanted to sacrifice one of the children with albinism. The kidnapping occurred while four of the siblings were on their way to school and the two older boys were blindfolded with handkerchiefs believed to have chemicals on them. Some people saw the boys in a taxi and telephoned their mother asking if she knew where the boys were going. Oblivious of the situation, she denied that they were her children but the other person insisted on their identity. A one and a half day search began for the boys who were miraculously found alive and well in a medium income Kampala suburb looking for their way home. It was a long search using police, local radio stations and word of mouth. The case is still under investigation and a lot of information is not yet available. (Source: Olive Namutebi; October 17, 2016; African Albino Foundation Uganda – AAFU had been supporting the family for over 3 years prior to this attack; Email: albinofoundation.uganda@gmail.com; Website: https://albinofoundationuganda.wordpress.com/)

USA, 2 reports: (PFI 48 of 180) 2 survivors 

Omitted. See the original reports for details. (webmaster FVDK)

Zambia, 13 reports: (PFI 119 of 180) 6 killings / 5 survivors / 2 grave robberies

Most recent killing: On December 22, 2015, a 36 year old man with albinism by the name of Jeffrey Sikanyai was attacked & killed in Mandevu, Lusaka’s Zani Muone West area, Zambia. He was left to die after his right forearm was cut off, most likely with an axe, for what appears to be ritual purposes. His body was found on the roadside the morning after his attack. Jeffrey was well-known in the area, and his family and friends said they were shocked by the death as he was very friendly. “We wouldn’t say he had any enemies. He was friendly with most people. Also, his movements and whereabouts were predictable.” (Source: Zambia Daily Mail; Albino killed, arm chopped; by Online Editor KELVIN KACHINGWE, Lusaka; Posted in Editor’s Choice, News on December 24, 2015; https://www.daily- mail.co.zm/?p=53668)

Most recent survivor: On November 4, 2017, a 19 -year- old woman with albinism by the name of Miriam Kumwenda survived a brutal attack where her right hand was chopped off by unknown assailants in Buyoyo Village, Chief Chikwa’s chiefdom, Chama District, Muchinga Province, Zambia. Narrating the ordeal from her bed in the Chama District Hospital, Miriam told Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) that she was attacked the previous Saturday night. Arroused from sleep by a knock at the door, she inquired who it was. A man who identified himself as a Mr. Nkhowani asked her to be let in but she ignored the request. The attacker then forced an entry, covered her mouth with a cloth to prevent screaming and carried her into the bush. Once in the bush other attackers appeared and started beating her up. When they started cutting her left arm one of them said that it is the right hand that was needed and her left arm was to remain intact. At this pointed she was hit on the head and lost consciousness. The assailants left her for dead. When she came too, Miriam started crying. Her parent found her later and rushed her to a nearby health center for medical attention. The Chama Police have been notified and said they are investigating the matter, referring all queries to Police Commissioner Godwin Phiri who could not be reached for a comment by broadcast time. Police sources said that two suspects are currently in custody while the other is on the run. (Source: Lusakatimes.com; An unknown people attack an Albino adolescent girl in Chama District; November 7, 2017; https://www.lusakatimes.com/2017/11/07/unknown-people-attack-albino-adolescent-girl-chama-district/)

Most Recent Grave Robbery: On an unknown date between June 23 and October 30, 2018, the grave of a woman with albinism by the name of Judith Mwanza was violated in the Nyimba district within the Eastern Province of Zambia. Eastern Province police commissioner Luckson Sakala said that Judith Mwanza died on June 21 at the age of 54 and was buried on June 23, 2018. Police have launched a manhunt for the people responsible. Sakala also said Nyimba District Council Chairperson Maxwell Kapanta reported to police that some unknown people had trespassed on the Chipambe graveyard sometime between the burial on June 23 and the discovery on October 30, 2018. Police visited the scene and found that Judith’s grave was tempered with and that “After a physical check, the police officers’ discovered that in the coffin there were two pieces of Chitenge material, a blanket, a skirt, used gloves and a blouse but the body was missing.” (Source: Albino Exhumed in Nyimba; October 31, 2018; by Chris Phiri; Zambia Reports: https://zambiareports.com/2018/10/31/albino-exhumed- nyimba/?fbclid=IwAR2ySEv9jR9F88nlS95LUhED5cMmeQ_sNqX2-ErZBc0ESxzH_ZZlk2s1zzI)

Second Most Recent Grave Robbery – On Saturday, January 27, 2018, relatives of Mr. Leonard Kombelwa, a deceased person with albinism, noticed that the grave in Mutuwambwa village, Western Zambia, had been tampered with and reported the matter to the police. Investigations found that the casket, together with the body, was missing. Mr. Kombelwa died of skin cancer at the age of 75 and was buried in his home village on August 4, 2016. So far one suspect has been caught and Police are hunting for two others. (Source: bbc.com; Grave robbers steal albino body in ZambiaJanuary 30, 2018; By Kennedy Gondwe; Lusaka; http://www.bbc.com/news/live/world-africa- 42461098?ns_mchannel=social&ns_source=twitter&ns_campaign=bbc_live&ns_linkname=5a708f022811 85064bc63fc8%26Grave+robbers+steal+albino+body+in+Zambia%26&ns_fee=0&ocid=socialflow_faceb ook#post_5a708f02281185064bc63fc8 and John Chiti, Executive Director of Albino Foundation of Zambia; February 3, 2018; email: johnchiti@ymail.com; Mobile: +260 977 977 026 and +260 954 095 428; Lusaka Zambia)

Zimbabwe, 2 report: (PFI 127 of 180) 1 killing / 1 asylum
In 2011 the severely mutilated body of a 26 year old woman with albinism was discovered.

Professor John Makumbe was contacted by Zimbabwe police and taken to the morgue to assist in identifying the body. He noted that she had albinism and that her breasts and genitals had been removed. (Source: Professor John Makumbe, a professor of political science at the University of Zimbabwe and president of the Zimbabwe Albino Association (Zimas))

On November 29, 2012, a woman with albinism from Zimbabwe was granted asylum in Atlanta, Georgia. (Source: UTSS served as expert witness in this case)

Source: Reported Attacks of Persons with Albinism – Most Recent Attacks Included By Under The Same Sun (UTSS) Canada & Tanzania

Africa Map

Namibia: People with albinism gripped by fear

The online Namibian newspaper New Era Live and its staff are to be commended for drawing attention to the plight of people with albinism notably in Namibia, and taking position in the struggle to eliminate the curse of ritual murders which is terrorizing people in many African countries. In this respect I may refer to an excellent article which was published in October 2020, “Rituals killings: Cry my beloved humankind”.

Namibia is not particularly known for its attacks on people with albinism. However, unfortunately, it is no exception either. African countries which are notorious for the discrimination of people with albinism and the frequent murder of people who suffer from this inherited genetic condition and whose body parts are believed to contain magical power are: Burundi, Botswana, DRC, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Swaziland (called Eswatini since 2018) and Tanzania. Under the Same Sun is one of the best known organizations which helps people with albinism overcome often deadly discrimination through education and advocacy.

As is being reported below, the Namibian authorities have acted swiftly after reports emerged that two men were trying to obtain albino body parts. People with albinism have reacted with fear, and the president of the Namibian Albino Organization has urged to government to act and protect its albino citizens.
(webmaster FVDK).

People with albinism gripped by fear

Published: March 28, 2022
By: The New Era – Festus Hamalwa

People with albinism say fear has engulfed the community after an unnamed man was approached by two men, asking him to sell them his hair and nails. 

A criminal case has been opened, and the two suspects were arrested.

Members of this community say they are heartbroken because they do not feel safe whenever they are going out, and they now fear being attacked.

Albinism is an inherited genetic condition that causes little to no production of melanin. 

Melanin regulates skin, hair and eye colour. 

Types of albinism vary, but the most common medical impairments include vision and dermatological risks. 

Exposure to the sun can be highly damaging to both the skin and eyes. 

Last week, two men from the Zambezi region appeared in the Katutura Magistrate’s Court after they were arrested for offering to buy albino body parts.  

The presiding magistrate denied bail to Fred Simasiku (50) and Obrein Liwelu (45). 

They are charged under the Witchcraft Suppression Proclamation 27 of 1933.

The matter has been postponed to 29 June 2022, while police investigations continue.

In an interview with New Era last week, the president of the Namibian Albino Association Joseph Ndinomupya called on government to act while it is early because they feel unsafe in their own country.

He said the existence of a market for albino body parts might encourage parents who have children with albinism to kill them because they fear their children.

“In other African countries, albinos are being discriminated against. Therefore, we also have a huge concern if this will happen in Namibia,” he added.

Ndinomupya further explained that in 2010, there was a body of an albino man discovered at Uuvudhiya village without private parts.

People with albinism all over Africa have suffered discrimination, and have been in danger of being killed and their body parts used for rituals.

In January, the Times of Lusaka reported that there are at least 10 albinos murdered in ritual killings every year in Zambia by people with the wrong misconception that acquiring body parts has the potential to give them wealth or luck.

In some cases, people with albinism have been impeded from exercising their right to marry someone of their choice, while some employers are reportedly reluctant to hire persons with albinism for reasons related to their different appearance, especially in posts where the employee is in contact with the public.

Shocked by this allegation, human right activist Rosa Namises has called all of Namibia to join hands and support local albino organisations, and strengthen the awareness about people with albinism.

 She said people should stop spreading myths such as that their hair gives luck, and they should also regard albinos as human beings.

 Namises stated that albino threats and suffering came from a long time ago where many albinos had been suffering in silence. The time is thus now to unite and stand against those who want to attack albinos.

“This news is painful and shocking. Namibian law should come into action, and those who are practising this evil activity of cutting body parts must be arrested,” she stressed.

Unsafe

Ndinomupya emphasised that their children are no longer safe whenever they are going or coming from school because they are not sure about the people in their communities harbouring ill- intentions.

“We will no longer trust our friends and family because everyone is now capable of doing this since people are being paid to get our hair and nails,” he lamented.

Ndinomupya, therefore, urged all people with albinism to take precautions to be safe out there, and to also avoid walking at night or using public transport alone at night.

Sovita Joshua said Namibia has just celebrated its 32 years of independence, but they, people with albinism, feel unsafe in their own country.

“I am even scared to walk in public or take taxis because I believe people will attack me and cut off my body parts,” she added.

Joshua thus suggested that suspects need to be questioned to tell the public how many people are still out there who have been involved in this activity.

Also speaking to New Era, Eliaser Moses, who likewise lives with albinism, said they feel threatened by this new development. 

He added that “this creates a high level of insecurity as many of us will not be free to go and do our daily hustling duties.

It has to come to an end, as it’s wrong to believe that people with albinism are to be used for rituals”.

Moses said the community must hold hands with them to fight against albinism and skin poaching.

Paulina Nekandjo said she was shocked the moment she heard about this devastating news because it is a threat to them.

“We are all human beings, and it is painful. I am urging whoever is planning to harm us to stop,” Nekandjo stated.

Nambondi Desderius, a student at a VTC, said it is a scary and serious matter that must not be accepted in this society. He advised albinos to stop talking to unknown people, walking alone, drinking alcohol, and going to places where they don’t know anyone.

 “If someone approaches us, we must not hesitate to report it to the nearest police station because that could be the only way we will stop this situation,” he pleaded. 

 “I urge the whole Namibian nation to join us to fight people cutting our body parts for money because it’s the only way we will keep our people safe. Am also urging the president of the Namibian Albino Organisation to start with campaigns and awareness in schools where there are people with albinism,” he added.

Elizabetha Namwandi called on government to get involved before the situation gets out of hand since they are not sure if there are still some people in society who have become victims already.

She informed that on 29 June, they will have a peaceful demonstration in front of the Katutura Magistrate’s Court.

 – fhamalwa@nepc.com.na

Source: People with albinism gripped by fear

The barbaric act of ritual killing still present in Liberia – citizens protesting against unsolved ritual murders and rising insecurity  

As I wrote earlier, Liberia has been in the grip of a series of mysterious deaths, unexplained disappearances and confirmed cases of ritual murders since at least early 2021 – though the recent spate of killings and mysterious disappearances dates from earlier. It started in 2020 with the unexplained death of a number of tax officials, three senior employees of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) and the Director General of the Internal Audit Agency (IAA), who were found dead within one month. See my December 2021 posting UN human rights expert urges Liberia to probe suspected ritual killings.

Unfortunately, ritual murders in Liberia are a permanent feature of Liberia’s history and society. See the brief overview which I posted in early 2022, Sketchy overview of the most famous ritual murder cases in Liberia since the 1960s.

What can I add besides dismay and the ardent wish that these barbaric practices cease to exist? The following article demonstrates that the Liberian government continues to fail in providing protection to its citizens and maintaining the rule of law by arresting, prosecuting and sentencing the culprits of these heinous crimes (webmaster FVDK).

Living In Extreme Fear, Liberia A Country Where Citizens Are Unsafe

Published: March 28, 2022
By: FrontPage Africa, Editorial Board

LIBERIA IS FAST gaining notoriety as a country of ritualists with stories of mysterious deaths daily reported in the traditional and social media. 

THE LATEST IS THE GRUESOME murder of Princess Cooper who was discovered dead in a fence that is attached to the Fawaz building materials store at the ELWA Junction on   March 24, 2022. 

PRINCESS’ GRUESOME murder is only an addition to the harvest of deaths by ritualists in the last few weeks across Liberia. Recently, the lifeless body of a girl believed to be in her 30s was discovered in Caldwell with body parts extracted. To date, perpetrators of the dastardly act are yet to be found.

A DAY EARLIER, another lifeless body of a man believed to be in his 40s was found in the Soul Clinic community. As at the time his body was recovered, some parts had been removed. They included his penis, eyes and tongue. Still, the perpetrators have not been arrested.

THE MURDER OF PRINCESS has sent shock waves to all as anybody’s child, relative or friend could be the next victim.  

CONTRARY TO THE EXPECTATIONS of compatriots after the current administration came into office, a general feeling of insecurity and helplessness is on the increase in Liberia.

FROM ARMED ROBBERIES to ritual killings, Liberians are worried that they have been given the short end of the stick. 

IN ALL OF THIS, the security forces appear to be helpless as well. The Police, especially charged with internal security virtually lie prostrate in the face of security challenges. 

INDEED, LIBERIANS no longer have the inner confidence that the country can protect lives and property and provide a climate where prosperity could spring from.

ADDED TO THIS IS THE TENSION caused by the rising cost of living, inflation, failing businesses, the abysmal rate of exchange of Liberian dollars to the United States dollars, unemployment, and a feeling of despondency are challenges we also face. 

PEOPLE ARE DISENCHANTED with the current government because of its failure to address the basic daily problems, which confront them. Uncertainty about the fate of the economy and how to face the future is also a major concern.

ENSURING GENERAL security is the main duty of government to the people. Any government, which fails to guarantee the safety of life and property is not worth its salt. 

FURTHERMORE, after criminal acts have been carried out, the Police ought to be able to fish out the culprits. Our experience has been that criminals of some dastardly crimes are hardly ever caught. Intelligence gathering has failed. Crime prevention is abysmal. Crime detection appears worse.

COUNTLESS FAMILIES have been subjected to the trauma of mysterious deaths, and the time has come for the Liberia National Police to develop a counter-measure to this menace. 

THE BARBARIC ACT of ritual killing is still present with us. Some depraved citizens still believe that offering a human being for sacrifice is a gateway to prosperity. 

REPORTS OF DISAPPEARED children or ladies are rife. Sometimes, corpses are found with missing body parts. Unlike their counterparts in other climes who pursue mysterious murder cases to a logical conclusion the Liberian Police is not known to take this task seriously. 

ONE OF THE OBLIGATIONS of power, which the people entrusted to the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) government is to create and sustain an atmosphere in the polity where individual and collective security is guaranteed. 

THE PRESIDENT and his government, the Liberia National Police under the supervision of Col. Marvin Sackor should rise to the occasion and reassure all that the situation can be controlled. 

PRESIDENT WEAH should go beyond lamentation and take drastic action and must dig into the root cause of this barbaric act and approach it from there.

WHAT WE ARE seeing are symptoms rather than cause and the president should make affirmative pronouncements and take concrete actions to instill confidence in the people.

Source: Living In Extreme Fear, Liberia A Country Where Citizens Are Unsafe

And:

Liberia: Citizens Plan To Protest Against Unsolved ”Murders” and Rising Insecurity On Monday

Liberia Justice Minister Frank Musa Dean

Published: March 27, 2022
By: African Star

Monrovia, Liberia – March 27, 2022  

It now appears that unsolved murders and increasing crime in the Liberian capital over time are now triggering a citizens’ response in the form of a planned protest being organized under a trending social media hashtag #JusticeforPrincessCooper.

Late Princess Cooper – Photo courtesy of Facebook

According to our Correspondent in Monrovia, the lifeless body of a young Liberian female name Princess Cooper was found late last week in the compound of a business in Monrovia and it was the latest unexplained death. On Friday the body of a man was found in the suburb of Johnsonville. No arrests have been made. 

Police preliminary report dismissed “foul play” but say they are continuing their investigation in the death of the victim. There has, however, been a fierce backlash against the preliminary report of the police by citizens who say they are highly frustrated with the high level of crime, violence and insecurity in the county which is still recovering from back-to-back wars in the 1990s which killed an estimated 250,000 persons. 

Organizers of the impending citizens protest who posted to social media listed the names of 19 individuals and incidents of alleged murder and disappearance and crime hotspots in the capital Monrovia and are urging residents of various communities in Monrovia to gather on Monday, March 28 for the peaceful protest to highlight the rising level of insecurity in the country. 
No once has been prosecuted.

Various Liberian social media groups have blown up in the last few days with postings expressing outrage at the lack of security for citizens.

A sophomore student at the state-run University of Liberia told African Star in an interview that while she appreciated the Government’s foreign policy position of urging Russia to provide humanitarian assistance and protection for the people of Ukraine, the Weah Administration was failing to provide safety for its own citizens. “The first duty of Government is the protection and welfare of its citizens,” the Liberia college student emphasized.

African Star has not been able to authenticate the identities of the March organizers although it appears to have been organized spontaneously by concerned citizens. 

The unsolved alleged murders, ritualistic killings and disappearances are compounded by other issues including lack of reliable power and worsening sanitation problems which some international partners have cited to the embarrassment of the Government of Liberia. 

A diplomatic source in Monrovia told African Star on Saturday that the Monrovia City Government and the City Mayor appear to have lost complete control of effectively managing Monrovia. 

Recently the Inspector General Of Police Colonel Patrick Sudue tried to deflect responsibility for the dismal performance on public safety when he described the rising spate of murders and crime country as “fake stories being created by opposition politicians” to a give negative image of the country and damage government’s reputation.

Last January, the Police Inspector, however, complained that local logistical constraints, including lack of internet availability, were preventing Police from staying connected to Interpol. 

It is unclear if Liberia’s Ministry of Justice and Police are aware of the peaceful protest on Monday and whether it will be allowed, since President George M. Weah is out of the country attending a business conference considered as Expo 2020 even though it is 2022. African Star Correspondence in Dubai said it is unclear how the business meeting is dubbed as Expo 2020 in Dubai instead of 2022. President Weah in a speech in Dubai referred to the business session of the conference as Expo 2020.
Presidential Affairs Minister Nathaniel F. McGill in the office of the President is also out of the country in the United States.

Government security forces have violently cracked down on prior citizens’ peaceful protests. 

By Our Correspondent in Monrovia

African Star  

Source: Liberia: Citizens Plan To Protest Against Unsolved ”Murders” and Rising Insecurity On Monday

Nigeria: death sentence for convicted ritual murderers though victim is still missing

The following post refers to a complicated legal verdict. Most people may find the following text incomprehensible. Be that as it may, the reason for including it here is that – summarized – the accused have been found guilty of the crime of murder although the dead body of the victim was never found.

As I often state here, most ritual murder cases which are discovered only represent the tip of the iceberg: many ritual murders are never discovered.

The accused, Nancy Aiwuyor, and two other persons were found guilty by the Supreme Court of Nigeria of – again summarized (FVDK) – conspiracy, child stealing and murder. See the first paragraph of the article below (‘Facts’).

In the last paragraph it becomes clear that the accused stole the child – apparently a baby, see the last but one paragraph – for ritual purposes: The Supreme Court held that the prosecution (a lower court) has proved, beyond reasonable doubt, that the acts of the three accused caused the presumed death of the child they stole for ritual purposes (italics mine, FVDK).

Hence, the Supreme Court affirmed the conviction of the three accused  who will face the capital punishment for the crime(s) committed.

The Supreme Court’s decision does not reveal the identity of the victim, a child who has been missing for (over) seven years. The incident took place in 2009. The importance of the Supreme Court’s decision lies in the accepted legal principle that the person who was last seen in company of a missing person can be charged with murder.

Doctrine of Last Seen in a Charge of Murder

Published: January 25, 2022
By: This Day, Nigeria

In the Supreme Court of Nigeria Holden at Abuja On Friday, the 11th day of June, 2021

Before Their Lordships Amina Adamu Augie Uwani Musa Abba Aji Mohammed Lawal Garba Tijjani Abubakar Emmanuel Akomaye Agim Justices, Supreme Court

SC. 996C/2018

Between

Nancy Aiwuyor Appellant

And

The State Respondent

(Lead Judgement delivered by Honourable Mohammed Lawal Garba, JSC)

Facts

The Appellant and two other persons were charged and tried for offences bothering on conspiracy, child stealing and murder, contrary to the provisions of Sections 516, 317 and 319 (1) of the Criminal Code. Five witnesses testified for the prosecution; while the Appellant was the sole witness. The trial court convicted the Appellant and others for the offences charged, and they were sentenced to death for the offence of murder. The Appellant’s appeal to the Court of Appeal, was dismissed. The Appellant further appealed to the Supreme Court.

Issue for Determination

The Supreme Court considered the following sole issue as being central to the appeal and decided the appeal thereon:

“Whether the lower court was right, that the prosecution had proved the offences the Appellant was charged with beyond reasonable doubt by the evidence adduced before the trial court.”

Arguments

Relying on the decision of court in COP v AMUTA LPELR- 41386(SC), counsel for the Appellant submitted that in criminal trials, the burden of proof is beyond reasonable doubt, and this burden rests on the prosecution throughout trial. Counsel contended that the burden is to be discharged by credible and cogent evidence, which is sufficient to eliminate reasonable doubt that it was the accused person who committed the offence he was charged with. Counsel relied on IGBABELE v STATE (2006) 5 NWLR (Pt. 975) 100 for the three ingredients of the offence of murder which the prosecution is required to prove together or conjunctively, in order to satisfy the proof beyond reasonable doubt. It was the position of counsel that the prosecution did not, by the evidence adduced at trial, prove any of the offences against the Appellant, particularly murder, beyond reasonable doubt. He argued that the witnesses called in the case did not give evidence in that regard, and that the Court of Appeal erred in law to have affirmed the conviction of the Appellant in the absence of proof beyond reasonable doubt. Further relying on the case of ORISA v STATE (2018) 11 NWLR (Pt. 1631) 457, Counsel argued that the evidence of the Appellant was cogent, unequivocal, and remained unshaken during cross-examination, but the trial court simply disregarded it in its judgement. Counsel argued that it is the duty of the trial court to resolve any doubt in the circumstantial evidence in favour of the accused person where it is capable of two interpretations; one showing the innocence and the other, the guilt of the accused person.

In response to the submissions above, counsel argued for the Respondent that the prosecution had discharged the burden of proof of the offences the Appellant was charged with, and that the trial and lower court were right to have convicted and affirmed the conviction of the Appellant; respectively. Counsel submitted that the concurrent findings of the two courts are not only borne out of abundance of evidence, but also based on relevant principles of law in Section 135(1) of the Evidence Act. Relying on OSENI v STATE (2012) 208 LRCN 151, he posited that that proof could be in any of the following ways: confessional statement by an accused person, circumstantial evidence or evidence of eyewitness of the crime. Counsel submitted that conspiracy, which is an offence that may not always be proved by direct evidence, and is distinct from the main offence, can be inferred from the facts and circumstances of a case – IKEMSON v STATE (1989) 3 NWLR (Pt. 110) 455. Counsel contended that the evidence of the prosecution witnesses, depicted vividly how the Appellant in company of the 1st & 2nd accused persons in consensus ad idem, stole and eventually murdered the victim for ritual purposes, and that the evidence of DW1 and DW2 corroborated the prosecution evidence to prove the charge of conspiracy as required by law. For the offence of child stealing, counsel argued that citing the evidence of PW1 and statement of the Appellant, established that the Appellant actively participated in the commission of the offence and that no evidence was given in rebuttal by the Appellant. On the offence of murder, counsel relied on EDAMINE v STATE (1996) 3 NWLR (Pt. 438) 530 for the essential ingredients of the offence, and argued that the law is settled that where the victim was last seen with the accused person and has not been found after a period of more than seven years, death would be presumed by virtue of Section 164(1) of the Evidence Act. Learned counsel submitted that the evidence before the trial court, was that the victim was last seen by and with the Appellant who received her from the 2nd accused person, and the victim has not been seen or found since February 24th, 2009, thereby giving rise to the reasonable presumption of death. Counsel submitted further that concurrent findings by the two lower courts, was rooted in the evidence which sufficiently established the ingredients required to prove the offences beyond reasonable doubt against the Appellants.

Court’s Judgement and Rationale

Before deciding the sole issue, the Supreme Court pointed out that the law permits a Respondent who did not file a Cross-appeal or a Respondent’s Notice of Appeal, to formulate issues from the grounds of appeal filed by the Appellant, and in so doing, adopt a favourable slant. Such Respondent does not have to adopt the form or style of the Appellant, in the formulation of the issues for determination -ATANDA v AJAYI (1989)3 NWLR (Pt. 111) 511.

Deciding the sole issue, the Supreme Court held that it is elementary in all superior courts of record in Nigeria, that by the combined provisions of Section 131, 132, 135(1) and 139 of the Evidence Act 2011, the burden of proof in all criminal trials is on the prosecution, to prove the offences which the accused persons are alleged to have committed beyond reasonable doubt. Another settled principle of law is that, the burden of proof imposed on the prosecution in criminal trials can be effectively discharged, and the presumption of innocence in favour of an accused person completely displaced by any of the following ways: confessional statement of the accused person which satisfies the requirements of law, direct eyewitness evidence or circumstantial evidence which meets or satisfies the requirements of the law – IGBABELE v STATE (2006) 5 NWLR (Pt. 975).

The court held that for the evidence to be adduced by the prosecution in the discharge of the burden of proof in any of these ways, by law, all material ingredients or elements which constitute the offence with which he was charged before the court, must be established together or conjunctively. Where a trial court failed or omitted to adequately, properly, and fairly consider a defence disclosed in the evidence before it which is open and available to an accused person before convicting him for the offence he was charged with, an appellate court would readily consider such defences in the event of an appeal on the failure or omission by the trial court – OJO v STATE (1973) 11 SC. An appellate court lacks the judicial competence to consider, deal with, pronounce and decide any issue or point which is outside of and not related to the grounds of an appeal contained on the Notice of Appeal filed before. In this instance, however, the Appellant did not, by his Grounds of Appeal or the issues submitted to the lower court for its determination, raise the issue of omission or failure by the trial court to consider the defence raised by the Appellant during trial, in the judgement appealed against. Not being an issue submitted to it or arising from any of the grounds of appeal before it, the lower court had no obligation or duty in law, to deal with or make pronouncement on the alleged omission or failure by the trial court to consider the defence raised by the Appellant at the trial court – IYAJI v EYIGEBE (1987) 1 NWLR (Pt. 61) 523.

Further, the proof of the offence of conspiracy lies in the inferences to be drawn from subsequent illegal acts or conducts by the individual conspirators. towards meeting or achieving the common intention and purpose. From the series and sequence of the acts and conduct by the accused persons, as narrated in their respective statements, there is no reasonable doubt that they could only come from the personal knowledge and common intention of persons who had agreed to commit an illegal act for a common purpose as envisaged by the provisions of Sections 7 and 8 of the Criminal Code, in order to constitute the offence of conspiracy between them. The evidence adduced by the prosecution through PW3 – the victim’s father, established beyond reasonable doubt that the victim who was a three-year-old at the material time, was taken away from their care, possession, and protection, forcibly and with the clear intention to steal her for an illegal purpose. The evidence leaves no reasonable doubt that the offence of child stealing under Section 371 of the Criminal Code was committed, in furtherance and pursuit of the common intention by the Appellant and her co-conspirators; the first and second accused persons. Consequently, the offences of conspiracy to commit felony and child stealing have been proved by the evidence, adduced by the prosecution, beyond reasonable doubt, as required by the law and the lower court was right to have affirmed her conviction for the said offences.

On the charge of murder, the court held that the law is firmly settled, as seen in loads of judicial authorities, that for the prosecution to secure a conviction for the offence of murder, the following crucial, vital and essential elements must be proved conjunctively, beyond reasonable doubt, that the death of the human has actually and in fact, taken place or occurred, the death was caused by the acts done or attributable to the accused person charged with the offence and the acts was done by the accused person with the intention to cause the death or that at the material time he knew or had reason to know that death was the probable, and not only a likely consequence of the act- OKORO v STATE (1988) 12 SCNJ.

In this case, the child who the Appellant and other accused persons conspired with, and stole was not found up to the time her trial commenced and ended. The lower court believed and relied on the evidence that since the Appellant and the co-accused conspired and stole the missing child who had not been seen or found for a period of seven years thereafter, there was the presumption of her death, and the Appellant had the duty to explain what happened to her because they were last seen with her. As shown by the evidence, the Appellant and the 2nd accused person were the last persons seen with the victim, when she was handed over to them by the 1st accused person on the 24th February, 2009 and they took her away alive, but she had since then, not been traced, seen or heard of or about. The Appellant has the duty to give or offer an acceptable explanation on the whereabouts, the condition or situation that the baby victim has been from the time they took her away from the village until she was traced, found or heard of or about, if ever. The fact that there was no direct evidence of her death or that her dead body was not found, would not affect or detract from the statutory presumption of her death, or its proof by the cogent and compelling circumstantial evidence placed before the trial court – STATE v SUNDAY (2019) 9 NWLR (Pt. 1676) 115. The court held further that the lower court was right that the presumption provided for and envisaged in the provisions of Section 164(1) of the Evidence Act applied in the Appellant’s case such that until rebutted by the Appellant, it was safe to say that the death of the child was proved beyond reasonable doubt in the circumstances of the case.

On the element that the death of the child was attributable to or resulted from the acts of the Appellant, the court held that the prosecution has proved, beyond reasonable doubt, that the acts of the Appellant along with her co-conspirators, caused the statutorily presumed death of the child they stole for ritual purposes. Thus, the second element of the offence of murder was thereby, satisfied. On the last of the elements, their Lordships held that with the brutal removal of nine fingers and the hair of the three year old victim, no reasonable doubt exists in the Appellant’s case that she indeed intended and knew that the death of their unfortunate victim was the inevitable result or consequence of their nefarious acts. The court therefore, affirmed the conviction of the Appellant.

Appeal Dismissed.

Representation
Olayiwola Afolabi for the Appellant.
Paulyn O. Abhulimen for the Respondent.

Reported by Optimum Publishers Limited, Publishers of the Nigerian Monthly Law Reports (NMLR)(An affiliate of Babalakin & Co.)

Source: Doctrine of Last Seen in a Charge of Murder

Inside the scary world of Nigeria’s ritual money pandemic

In the following article a grim picture is being painted of the widespread occurrence of ritualistic practices in Nigeria, based on the belief in the supernatural, superstition, and with the main objective of ‘getting-rich-quick’. These ritualistic practices may take different forms, varying from internet fraud to human sacrifice. It is being recognized that most ritual murder cases ‘escape the headlines’.

Warning: some readers may be shocked by the graphic details of the heinous crimes committed (FVDK).

Inside the scary world of Nigeria’s ritual money pandemic

Teens arrested in Abeokuta, Ogun State over murder of a teenager girl

Published: February 7, 2022
By: Business Hallmark, Nigeria

A few days ago, a video of three young boys captured conveying python in a travel bag in Owerri, Imo State trended on social media. The boys who were caught at Aladinma Housing Estate on January 26, upon interrogation, admitted to being Yahoo boys who got the live snake for money ritual purposes.

Stories such as the above, have become common in Nigeria where the belief in the supernatural is an integral part of the social fabric. From poverty to wealth; from life to death and everything in-between, nothing happens without a reason. And a new rave of money ritual is currently sweeping across the country’s landscape, intertwined with the menace of internet fraud.

It’s a world ruled by blood, sacrifice and death; a world in which young men, sometimes as young as 15, do unspeakable evil in the belief that money is made from performing human sacrifices, and for the most part, they escape the headlines.

Internet fraud, or simply Yahoo-Yahoo, took root in Nigeria with the emergence of the internet and its prevalent use from around 2005/06. It was when a new crop of big boys known as Yahoo boys began to emerge; young men who defrauded mostly European and Americans in love scams, with Benin as a hub.

But soon it spread, like wildfire, across the country, and graduated from mere posing as American soldier in Afghanistan, a widower in desperate need for life partner, etc, to full blown ritualism, hacking and fraudulent investment schemes, all of which are ecaplulated in a term known as Yahoo Plus (Yahoo+) or G+.

Fortnight ago, two teenage boys, Soliu Majekodunmi (18) and Mustakeem Balogun (19) were caught while boiling the head of a 17-year-old girl, Sofiat Kehinde, at Oke Aregba area of Abeokuta, Ogun State. They confessed to have murdered her for ritual purposes, an incident that jolted many Nigerians. But it’s not an isolated incident.

About the same time, 32-year-old suspected internet fraudster, Afeez Olalere who was arrested by operatives of the Lagos State Police Command, confessed that his mother encouraged him to kill his younger brother for money rituals.

Afeez Olalere
Afeez Olalere

“My mother took me to a herbalist who told me if I want to be successful in the yahoo business, I will have to sacrifice one life and that person must be a sibling to mine,” he had said, revealing that his mother encouraged him to kill his 21 year-old brother which he did with the help of a poison.

According to him, his brother died 20 minutes after consuming the poison and he went ahead to harvest the required body parts while the remains was wrapped and headed to a mortuary.

“The things he would need to prepare a concoction with are his thumbs, his hair, fingers and a passport photograph, he narrated. “So, we went back home and thought about it, then my mother suggested that we use my younger brother since he is just 21 years old.”

Stories of ritual murder have become weekly occurrence, driven by internet fraud which has become a whole industry, steeped in blood and human sacrifice. Some accounts of which are traumatising. In the East, there is an emerging ritual trend known variously as Okeite, Awelle and so on, in which young men, sometimes teenagers, perform blood sacrifices for money.

The deities, our correspondents learnt from different accounts, keep demanding such things as goats, cows and even humans as sacrifice, from time to time. And once one is in, there is no way out.

“Young people who are supposed to be the leaders of tomorrow now engage in unimaginable crimes just to become millionaires overnight,” lamented Ben Bruce, former senator in a tweet at the weekend. What has suddenly gone wrong with young people who now believe that rituals involving human blood will make them rich? So many Nigerians go missing daily, and while many are never found. Some are found dead with body parts missing. We must work to stop this trend. The narrative that poverty and unemployment get young people into ritual killings must not be accepted.”

Mostly at the receiving end of the menace are young girls who are lured with money and used for ritual through sex. The practice according to many accounts, is that the ritualists deposit their sperms into the unsuspecting girls who either become barren for the rest of their lives or rot away gradually.

“I have a cousin that was used,” Ope Folorunsho, an artisan in Ojodu, Lagos, confirmed to our correspondent upon inquiry. “The girl lives at Alagbole now with her parents. She is just in her early 20s, but she no longer sees her period. Her parents have done everything possible, gone to different hospitals, to no avail. When they finally decided to seek solution in traditional way, they were told that she had been used for ritual and that she won’t be able to give birth in her life. Her friends told me that she dated a Yahoo boy who bought her iPhone 11 Pro Max.”

Another account has it that some would deposit sperms into women whose body gradually rot away as they make money. Last week, a twitter user, Afam, @AfamDeluxo, who has been raising awareness about the menace of ritual money in the Southeast, shared the story of a friend whose 18-year-old cousin, was used.

“During my bachelors night, one of my friends that did Okeite came. He paid for seven fishes which was about N40,000 and bought two cartons of Heineken. We where all drinking and I was surprised he had already paid for things which we haven’t even eaten,” the victim’s uncle narrated.

“And it was about 11pm in the night. All of a sudden my cousin’s sister left. I didn’t see her until morning. She didn’t partake in the bridal shower. When I saw her in the morning and asked her where she went, she said she went out with my friend that bought the fish. Summary of the story: My cousin sister is fighting for her life now. From one dibia to another.

“On the 4th of Jaunary when I went for a wedding in my villa, I told the father what happened on my bachelors night. That maybe they should find a good man of God to pray for her. The father said that one native doctor said that it has already gotten deep and that it will take a lot for her to revive. The native doctor also said she was used for ritual.

“She is currently in Kogi. She is just 18 years. I warned this girl not to go out unless she wants to go to her room or like to sleep. The plot twist of the whole matter is that the elder brother contacted the guy that used her sister and asked him to show him the way. The guy gave him N1 million and sent location to him.”

Teens arrested while conveying snake in a bag
Teens arrested in Owerri while conveying snake in a bag

In late January, the Osun State police command arrested two ritualists, Ayodeji Saheed and Tunde Obadimeji, who had allegedly murdered a young woman in a hotel. The hotel management had suspected foul play when the victim screamed twice and after that, no noise was heard again from the room.

According to the management when the two men were about going, they were asked to be escorted back to the room to see if everything was fine and why the girl they came with wasn’t leaving with them. When they returned to the hotel room, they met the lifeless body of the young woman with vital organs already removed from her body.

Upon interrogation, the two men confessed to murdering the lady for ritual. According to them, it was not their first. They admitted to having killed as much as 70 women as they specialized in getting female parts and one Abefe Sadiq who pays them N600,000 for each part.

Asked how they get these girls, they said, “getting the girls was so easy. We lure them with money and fancy things.”

There is yet another dimension. Our investigations revealed that some travelled all the way to Uzo Uwani in Enugu State where they bury live cow.

“They go to a place to go to in Uzo Uwani,” a source familiar with the practice confided on our correspondents on the condition of anonymity. “When you go there, you get a form for $1000. And after that, the conditions will be tabled before you, which include burying a live cow. If you are ready, you proceed. Burying the cow will have implications, of course. It cannot be for nothing. Some other things that are more grave may happen.”

Asked how money is made after the sacrifice, the source said, “The money doesn’t just drop for them like that. The thing is that when you have clients, the client will respond.

“You know, what they do is more of binary. You invest money and they pay you back the money with interest, till they build your confidence and when you pay huge money, they will block you,” he explained.

“They set up all these ROI schemes; these fake investment schemes. They front websites that are very neat. The victims won’t have an idea that it’s fake. Initially, they make sure they pay back the investments, most of them, even when they are broke, will borrow to make sure they pay their clients so that they can reinforce their confidence.

“They know that the money will still come back. If they pay 100 people for example, 60 will reinvest in a bigger way. Some of them start with small amount, the scammers will keep paying them back. With time, they will become confident that the scheme is real and probably take a loan to invest, then they will block everything and go with the money.

“The way they set up the website, you will never know they are Nigerians. They use UK phone lines, and most of them have mastered British and American accents. I think there is also an app they use to change their tones. So, when they speak to you, you won’t know they are not British or Americans.

“If you go to their pages, of course, everything about them is different. They have foreign accounts. Those who don’t have foreign accounts have people who collect the money for them. There are people who work as intermediaries. They accept money on their behalf, take their own percentage and send the rest to them in Nigeria.”

Mr. Maxwell Odum, the CEO of MBA Investment Company which swindled billions of naira out of unsuspecting investors, among many other similar schemes, comes to mind. Yet, determined to find out more about this ritual, our correspondent contacted a traditionalist, Eze Gbankiti, who shed more light into the practice.

“Burying life cow is tantamount to killing a human being,” he said. “I know some of my colleagues who accept to do it, but I don’t engage in such practice because it’s evil. It’s not just a cow, some use ram or cat. Once you bury a live cow, ram or cat, someone must die in the family of the person doing the sacrifice.”
The traditionalist further explained that such ritual can indeed bring money, but that there will eventually be consequences.

“If you do that, money will come to you,” he said. “As with the Yahoo boys, they will get clients and the clients will respond to them. But it’s blood money.”

It’s worsening. By many accounts, the ritual fraudsters currently recruit young boys who they compel to swear an oath of allegiance, as apprentice.

“Our moral values are perverted and upturned right before our eyes, even as an evil and quite frightening norm is being set as the new normal,” lamented Evangelist Elliot Uko, founder of Igbo Youth Movement in a piece sent to our correspondent.

“Time-tested values of obedience, hard  work, patience, diligence and respect, are discredited and mocked at, even as the new culture of get-rich-quick by all means slowly takes over our land. Every discerning citizen is scared of tomorrow. The values we are setting today as standard, will certainly destroy our tomorrow. We are unwittingly destroying our future by encouraging EGO NBUTE.

“All over our land, in recent years, self-appointed wizards, sorcerers and occultic masters, establish emergency solution ministries, where they assure young men and women, that drowning rams and goats in the stream, while bathing naked with Indian incense, perfume and coloured candles under the supervision of the Prophet or Prophetess, will turn them into instant multi millionaires in few months or even weeks.

“These Psychics and mediums of powers of darkness brainwash these hapless, naive and very gullible young folks, that their fortunes will magically turn around for good in less than no time, once these humiliating rituals are performed. They sometimes pressure their mugus to make promises of buying and donating cars in gratitude to the man or woman of “god”, immediately great door of financial explosion occur in their lives.

“These have become an epidemic, overtaking mkpuru nmiri addiction, as the number one social crisis ravaging our land. They exploit social media to advertise their ‘wonderful’ powers, to hoodwink their victims. It’s catching on like wild fire. The hard times we are in, and grave joblessness in the land probably accentuated the madness.”

EFCC Part of the Problem 

Though Nigeria’s anti corruption agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has continued to present itself as fighting the menace of internet fraud by, among other things, posting photographs of suspected fraudsters on their various social media platforms, as well as routinely invading hotels in search of the fraudsters, our investigation revealed something different.

Many sources, including lawyers who have served as counsel to accused fraudsters and the fraudsters themselves told our correspondents that officials of the anti corruption agency routinely collect bribes and destroy cases of arrested suspects, which according to them, partly explains why the menace is not abating.

They alleged further that the night raids at hotels and the publishing of names of suspected fraudsters on social media are all part of media propaganda to present a different image of themselves to the public.

“EFCC knows all those things. What happens is that when they succeed and money comes in, often huge sums of money, the bank will flag it and EFCC will probe the account and start tracking the person,” an Enugu based lawyer who has worked as a counsel for a number of the fraudsters told our correspondent on condition of anonymity to avoid being victimized.

“Of course, they know where almost all of them are living. Whenever they want to take any of them, they will just go there and pick them,” he said.

“The point is that those guys make EFCC officials rich. It’s a racket. Those EFCC guys don’t even touch their salaries. Apart from probably NNPC and FIRS, that EFCC is the most lucrative agency of the federal government. I tell you, they even make more money than those working with FIRS.

“They have really damaged that anti corruption fight. If you go there and see what is going on, you will lose confidence in this country. What they do there is just plea bargaining. That’s why, as they are arresting people every day, people are still jumping into it. They know that all they simply need to do is to pay bribe when they are caught. And that makes things cumbersome for those of us in the legal profession.

“For instance, there was a time we had some clients to defend. We reached an agreement about our legal fees, but at the end of the day, the EFCC people went behind, collected money and damaged the case.

“There was another case we had in Awka. When it was time for hearing, the EFCC guys said that there was no flight from Enugu to Awka. Has there been any flights from Enugu to Awka? The case had to be stood down for another one hour, after which it was adjourned to another date. It could be that the person who the case was against had already paid, so the EFCC could just be employing delay tactics.”

Another lawyer who also craved anonymity said, “The runs they do in that agency is terrible. I hope that one day, someone will open that can of worms. That place is nothing. It is probably the most corrupt establishment in this country. If you work there for six months, you would have started riding any car of your choice. One Yahoo boy you get can pay you huge amounts of money.

“There was one day we were at a hotel called Ntachi, one G-guy brought a Ghana-Must-Go bag filled with money and dumped it inside the booth of an EFCC guy and afterwards, they all went up to eat.

“Those guys are more guilty than the people they are arresting. Forget all those media trials they are doing. It’s just show. They are not doing anything there. The only thing is that when government is interested in a case, they will pursue it. Then if you are not complying, they will will take your picture and publish and then parade you up and down, just like what SON does to manufacturers or importers who don’t settle them.

“They may bring your goods, burn it and bring the media to cover it. It’s just nonsense. But once you are complying, you won’t have a problem. Even if your case is already with them, they can take out the case file and burn it. They will arrange for you to even leave the country. Whenever they need your attention, you can come into the country again.

“That’s why, sometimes, they will tell you that this person’s passport has been seized, but you will see the person in the United States the next day. The rot there is nauseating. It’s just business. They only take your case seriously when you are not complying. They use you as a scapegoat just to give the impression that they are working.”

Speaking of the ritual practice that drives the Yahoo industry, he said, “From the ritual point of view, it’s made me to be careful about everybody. I’m scared of human beings these days. The whole thing is just assuming the ugliest of dimensions. The one videoed at Imo State where people shit and eat it is sad.

“People can argue logically that there is no way ritual can bring money. That is true within the context of logic. But if it doesn’t bring money, they won’t be going into it. That you don’t believe in God, for example, doesn’t mean that he doesn’t exist. His existence is not dependent on whether or not you believe.

“The ritual thing works for them, whether we agree or not. What I heard is that when they are done with that, they can command those people to pay them and they will comply. It’s not unlikely that it doesn’t work, because you see them making a lot of money doing those scams. And typically those who do those rituals are mostly those who make money in the business.”

When contacted by our correspondent to comment on the allegations, EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwajeren, asked that the questions be forwarded to him in a WhatsApp message for him to respond. Our correspondent obliged, but he failed to respond after reading the message.

Source: Inside the scary World of Nigeria’s ritual money pandemic

Nigeria: February 9, 2022: House of Representatives asks Federal Government to declare state of emergency on ritual killings

As far as I know it is unprecedented in the history of Nigeria: lawmakers have urged the government of president Buhari to declare a state of emergency on ritual killings in the country. Even continent-wise, it is a novelty, to my knowledge. It is symptomatic for the widespread occurrence of ‘money rituals’ in the country, as I have repeatedly stated here. 

No need to elaborate now on the details of the various (read: many) cases of ritualistic murders which motivated the House of Representatives of Africa’s most populated country to take this bold step. The news had a nation-wide coverage as is amply demonstrated by the nearly 30 newspaper articles cited (and partly reproduced) below – far from all publications on this historic decision. 

Warning:  some readers may find (some of) the following articles disturbing because of the graphic description of ritualistic activities. (FVDK)

Declare state of emergency on ritual killings —Reps to FG

Members of the House of Representatives during plenary

Published: February 9, 2022
By: Segun Adewole – Punch, Nigeria

The House of Representatives on Wednesday said a state of emergency on ritual killings in the country should be declared by the Federal Government.

The lawmakers also called for a campaign against the menace, saying the effort of parents, schools, religious leaders and the media is needed.

This is following a motion sponsored by Deputy Minority Leader of the House, Toby Okechukwu, who lamented that ritual killings have taken a new dimension in recent times.

He said, “There’s an upsurge of reported ritual killings with increasing cases of abductions and missing persons in different parts of the country, which in most cases, the culprits also rape, maim, kill and obtain sensitive body parts of unsuspecting victims for rituals.

“Merchants of such wicked acts often use social media as a ready tool to advertise their evil behaviour. Ritual killing has become a predominant theme in most homemade movies which if not checked, our younger generation may begin to view as an acceptable norm.

“There are several reports where law enforcement agents arrested and paraded suspects of ritual killings with gory pictures of human skulls and dismembered bodies.

“Fake clerics, imams, herbalists and native doctors are often complicit in the heinous practices. Although our communities are getting more religious with the proliferation of churches and mosques, the ugly trend of ritual killing is on the rise as the quest for wealth at all costs pervades our society.

“Youths in other climes are embracing science and technology as a way of maintaining pace with our dynamic world while some of our youths seem stuck in the mistaken belief that sacrificing human blood is the surest route to wealth, safety and protection.

“Such cruel and barbaric acts should no longer be promoted in our society given the demands of today’s world.”

The motion was unanimously adopted by the House which called on the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba to “take urgent steps to increase surveillance and intelligence gathering with a view to apprehend and prosecute all perpetrators of ritual killings in Nigeria”.

Copyright PUNCH.

Source: Declare state of emergency on ritual killings —Reps to FG

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Reps task IG on ritual killings

The House of Representatives – Photo Facebook / Speaker Gbaja

Published: February 9, 2022
By: NAN – The Guardian, Nigeria

The House of Representatives has charged the Inspector General of Police (I-G) to take urgent steps towards tacking ritual killings in the country.

This followed the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance by Rep Toby Okechukwu, the Deputy Minority Leader, at the plenary on Wednesday in Abuja.

Presenting the motion, Okechukwu said that incidents of ritual killings had assumed an alarming rate in Nigeria while decrying the upsurge of reported ritual killings with increasing cases of abductions and missing persons in different parts of the country.

He added that in most cases, the culprits also rape, maim, kill and cut out sensitive body parts of unsuspecting victims for rituals.

He said that the Red Cross Society in 2017 reported that it received 10,480 reports of missing persons in Nigeria.
“On Jan. 22, three teenage suspects and a 21-year-old reportedly killed one Sofiat Kehinde and severed her head and burnt in a local pot in Abeokuta, Ogun.

”The police command in Ogun on Feb. 7, reported that one of the suspects confessed that he learned the act of ritual killing from a video he watched on Facebook,” he stated.

He said that the death of Sofiat attracted national outrage and condemnation considering the age of the suspected killers.

The lawmaker said that merchants of such wicked acts often use the social media as a tool to advertise their evil acts.

He also mentioned the grievous killing of Iniobong Umoren, a young woman in her 20s; who was lured to a particular location in Uyo, Akwa Ibom for a job interview, as widely reported in the national dailies.

He also cited the gruesome killings and heinous activities of Badoo Boys in Lagos State, which was also reported in the national dailies.

“Ritual killing had become a predominant theme in most homemade movies which if not checked, our younger generation may begin to view it as an acceptable norm,” he said.

The House thereafter declared a national emergency on ritual killings and urged National Orientation Agency (NOA), stakeholders and the media to initiate a campaign towards changing the situation in the country.

The House tasked the Executive Director, National Film and Video Censors Board to rise to the mandate of the agency as the clearinghouse for all movies produced in the country.

Source: Reps task IG on ritual killings

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Reps Ask FG To Declare National Emergency On Ritual Killings

Screenshot – click on image in original to watch the video

Published: February 9, 2022
By: Terry Ikumi – Channels TV, Nigeria

The House of Representatives has called for the declaration of a national emergency on ritual killings across the country.

This formed part of the resolutions reached by the lawmakers on a motion of urgent public importance entitled ‘Need to Curb the Rising Trend of Ritual Killings in Nigeria’.

Mr Toby Okechukwu, the Minority Leader of the House, moved the motion during Wednesday’s plenary at the lower chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.

The motion comes amid the incessant killing of innocent Nigerians for ritual purposes, with one of the latest being the murder of Sofiat Okeowo in Ogun State.

Worried about the trend, the lawmakers called on the National Orientation Agency (NOA), as well as parents, heads of schools, religious leaders, and the media to undertake a campaign to change the negative narrative bedevilling the society.

They resolved to call on the Executive Director of the National Film and Video Censors Board to rise to the mandate of the agency, as the clearinghouse for all movies produced in the country.

While moving the motion, Okechukwu called the attention of the House to the recent incidents of ritual killings which he said have assumed an alarming rate.

He condemned the upsurge of reported ritual killings with increasing cases of abductions and missing persons in different parts of the country, saying the culprits in most cases rape, maim, kill and obtain sensitive body parts of unsuspecting victims for rituals.

The Red Cross Society, according to him, reported that it received 10,480 reports of missing persons in Nigeria in 2017, and three teenage suspects and a 20-year-old were accused of killing Sofiat.

The lawmaker told his colleagues that the Ogun State Police Command later reported on Monday that one of the suspects confessed that he learned the act of ritual killing from a video he watched on Facebook.

He also condemned the killing of Iniobong Umoren, a woman in her 20s, after being lured to a location in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State for a job interview.

Okechukwu stressed the need to be mindful of the role of the Nigerian movie industry in moulding the behavioural patterns in the society, as well as the mandate of NFVCB and others.

The lawmakers mandated the House Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics, and Values to report back to the House within four weeks.

According to them, the Inspector General of Police should take urgent steps to increase surveillance and intelligence gathering, with a view to apprehend and prosecute all perpetrators of ritual killings in Nigeria.

Similarly, the House Committee on Police Affairs was mandated to report back to the lawmakers within four weeks.

Source: Reps Ask FG To Declare National Emergency On Ritual Killings

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Reps ask FG to declare state of emergency on ritual killings

Nigeria’s House of Representatives in session. Photo used for illustrative purposes.

Published: February 9, 2022
By: Vincent Ufuoma – ICIR, International Centre for Investigative Reporting

THE House of Representatives has asked the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on ritual killings in the country.

This followed a motion moved by the House Deputy Minority Leader Toby Okechukwu during Wednesday’s plenary.

Okechukwu, who noted that ritual killings have assumed an alarming rate in Nigeria in recent times, lamented the increasing cases of abductions and missing persons in different parts of the country.

He said in most cases, the culprits also rape, maim, kill and obtain sensitive body parts of unsuspecting victims for rituals.

The lawmaker also decried the roles of various social groups, especially the entertainment industry, in reinforcing ritual killings among young people.

Okechukwu said, “Ritual killing has become a predominant theme in most home made movies which if not checked, our younger generation may begin to view it as an acceptable norm.

“There are several reports where law enforcement agents arrested and paraded suspects of ritual killings with gory pictures of human skulls and dismembered bodies.

“Fake clerics, imams, herbalists and native doctors are often complicit in the heinous practices.

“Although our communities are getting more religious with the proliferation of churches and mosques, the ugly trend of ritual killing is on the rise as the quest for wealth at all cost pervades our society.”

The lawmaker expressed worry that while youths in other climes were embracing science and technology as a way of maintaining pace with the world, some Nigerian youths were enmeshed in the belief that human sacrifice would bring them wealth, protection and security.

Adopting the motion, the House of Representatives asked the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Usman Baba Alkali to take urgent steps to increase surveillance and intelligence gathering with a view to fishing out, arresting and prosecuting the perpetrators of the ritual killings.

The House called on the National Orientation Agency (NOA), parents, heads of schools, religious leaders and the media to undertake a campaign to change the negative narrative that is bedeviling the society.

Subsequently, the House mandated its Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values to ensure compliance of the resolution and report back within weeks.

Last month, a 20-year-old lady, Sofiat Kehinde was gruesomely murdered in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital by four teenage boys aged 17, 18, 19 and 20.

Sofiat’s head was severed by the boys and they were burning it in a pot for money ritual before they were apprehended.

The four teenage suspects arrested by the police are Soliu Majekodunmi, Wariz Oladehinde, Abdulgafar Lukman, and Balogun Mustaqeem.

They confessed to have conspired to kill Sofiat and played different roles in her murder.

One of the suspects, Mustaqeem, confessed that he was motivated by a post he saw on Facebook to murder Kehinde for money ritual.

He said, “I saw a post on Facebook that explained how to get rich quickly. I downloaded the video because I had interest in getting wealthy at an early stage. I wanted to get rich and lead a luxurious life.

“The video was what prompted me to tell Soliu about getting rich quickly at our early age. He was interested after I showed him the video on my phone and asked where we would get the materials we needed.”

Source: Reps ask FG to declare state of emergency on ritual killings

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Reps to FG: Declare national emergency on ritual killings in Nigeria

…ask IGP to arrest, prosecute perpetrators

…prompt NOA, parents, heads of schools, religious leaders, media to lead campaign against killings

Published: February 9, 2022
By: Levinus Nwabughiou, Abuja – Vanguard, Nigeria   

Jolted by the reports of incessant ritual killings across the country, the House of Representatives, Wednesday, asked the federal government to declare a national emergency on the social vice.

The House also asked the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Usman Baba Alkali to take urgent steps to increase surveillance and intelligence gathering with a view to fishing out, arresting and prosecuting the perpetrators of the killings.

The parliament also called on the National Orientation Agency, parents, heads of schools, religious leaders and the media to undertake a campaign to change the negative narrative that bedeviling the society.

The resolutions of the House came after it considered a motion titled “Need to Curb the Rising Trend of Ritual Killings in Nigeria”, presented at the plenary by the deputy minority leader, Hon. Toby Okechukwu under matters of urgent public importance.

Presenting the motion, Okechukwu noted that the incidents of ritual killings have assumed an alarming rate in Nigeria in recent times.

He said there was an upsurge of reported ritual killings with increasing cases of abductions and missing persons in different parts of the country, which in most cases, the culprits also rape, maim, kill and obtain sensitive body parts of unsuspecting victims for rituals.

He said: “The Red Cross Society in 2017 reported that it received 10,480 reports of missing persons in Nigeria.

“On January 22, 2022, three teenage suspects and a twenty year old reportedly killed one Sofiat Kehinde and had her head severed and burnt in a local pot in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

“Ogun State Police Command on Monday, February 7, 2022 reported that one of the suspects confessed that he learned the act of ritual killing from a video he watched on Facebook.”

The lawmaker recalled that the death of Sofiat has attracted national outrage and condemnation considering the ages of her killers.

“Merchants of such wicked acts often use the social media as a ready tool to advertise their evil behaviours.

“The grievous killing of Iniobong Umoren, a young woman in her 20s; after being lured to a particular location in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State for a job interview, as widely reported in the national dailies.

“The gruesome killings and heinous activities of Badoo Boys in Lagos State, which was also reported in the national dailies.

“Ritual killing has become a predominant theme in most home made movies which if not checked, our younger generation may begin to view it as an acceptable norm.

“Several reports where law enforcement agents arrested and paraded suspects of ritual killings with gory pictures of human skulls and dismembered bodies.

“Fake clerics, imams, herbalists and native doctors are often complicit in the heinous practices.

“Although our communities are getting more religious with the proliferation of churches and mosques, the ugly trend of ritual killing is on the rise as the quest for wealth at all cost pervades our society.”

Okechukwu expressed worry that while youths in other climes are embracing science and technology as a way of maintaining pace with our dynamic world, some of our youths seem stuck in the mistaken belief that sacrificing human blood is the surest route to wealth, safety and protection.

“Such cruel and barbaric acts should no longer be promoted in our society given the demands of today’s world.

“The growing rate of unemployment in the country.

“The moral decadence in our society, a trend that has promoted the get-rich-quick syndrome among our youths.

“The role of the Nigerian movie industry in moulding behavioral patterns in our society vis-a-vis the mandate of the National Film and Video Censors Board as a clearing house for movies produced in the country.

“A lot needs to be done by the Police and other law enforcement agencies to checkmate this ugly trend.

“The roles of parents, schools, religious leaders, and the urgent need to curb the increasing rate of ritual killings and other related vices.

“The House is mindful of the role of media as a tool to change this wrong narrative among our youths”, he said.

Adopting the motion, the House called on the Executive Director, National Film and Video Censors Board to rise to the mandate of the agency as the clearing house for all movies produced in the country.

It therefore mandated its Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values ensure compliance of the resolution and report back to the House within weeks.

Source: Reps to FG: Declare national emergency on ritual killings in Nigeria

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Lawmakers blame Nigerian movies for surge in ritual killings, declare national emergency

Teens arrested in Abeokuta, Ogun State over murder of a teenager girl

Published: February 9, 2022
By: Business Hallmark News, Nigeria

Nigeria’s House of Representatives on Wednesday declared a national emergency amid rise in cases of ritual killings across the country.

The lawmakers also urged the National Orientation Agency (NOA), stakeholders, and the media to initiate a campaign towards changing the situation in the country.

This followed the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance by Toby Okechukwu, the deputy minority leader, at the plenary in Abuja, NAN reported.

Presenting the motion, Mr Okechukwu said that incidents of ritual killings had assumed an alarming rate in Nigeria while decrying the upsurge of reported ritual killings, and abductions in different parts of the country.

He blamed the increase on Nollywood, the country’s movie industry, arguing that younger generations may see ritual killing as a norm.

“Ritual killing had become a predominant theme in most homemade movies which if not checked, our younger generation may begin to view it as an acceptable norm,” he said.

Mr Okechukwu added that in most cases, the culprits also rape, maim, kill and cut out sensitive body parts of unsuspecting victims for rituals.

Citing the killing of Iniobong Umoren in Akwa Ibom and the recent incident of 21-year-old Sofiat Kehinde who was killed and had her head burnt in a local pot in Abeokuta, Ogun, the lawmaker said the news triggered condemnation considering the age of the suspected killers.

The House thereafter charged the Inspector General of Police to take urgent steps towards tacking ritual killings in the country.

The lawmakers also tasked the Executive Director, National Film and Video Censors Board to rise to the mandate of the agency as the clearing house for all movies produced in the country.

Source: Lawmakers blame Nigerian movies for surge in ritual killings, declare national emergency

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Reps ask Buhari to declare national emergency over ritual killings

Published: February 9, 2022
By: Ochogwu Sunday – Daily Post, Nigeria

The House of Representatives on Wednesday called on the Federal Government to declare a national emergency on ritual killings across the country.

The development followed the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance by Toby Okechukwu, the Deputy Minority Leader, at the plenary on Wednesday in Abuja.

Presenting the motion, Okechukwu said incidents of ritual killings had assumed an alarming rate in Nigeria while decrying the upsurge of reported ritual killings with increasing cases of abductions and missing persons in different parts of the country.

He added that in most cases, the culprits also rape, maim, kill and cut out sensitive body parts of unsuspecting victims for rituals.

He said the Red Cross Society in 2017 said it received 10,480 reports of missing persons in Nigeria.

“On January 22, three teenage suspects and a 21-year-old reportedly killed one Sofiat Kehinde, severed her head and burnt it in a local pot in Abeokuta, Ogun.

”The police command in Ogun on Feb. 7, reported that one of the suspects confessed that he learned the act of ritual killing from a video he watched on Facebook,” he stated.

He said the death of Sofiat attracted national outrage and condemnation considering the age of the suspected killers.

The lawmaker said merchants of such wicked acts often use social media as a tool to advertise their evil acts.

He also mentioned the grievous killing of Iniobong Umoren, a young woman in her 20s, who was lured to a particular location in Uyo, Akwa Ibom for a job interview, as widely reported in the national dailies.

He also cited the gruesome killings and heinous activities of Badoo Boys in Lagos State, which was also reported in the national dailies.

“Ritual killing had become a predominant theme in most homemade movies which if not checked, our younger generation may begin to view it as an acceptable norm,” he said.

The House thereafter declared a national emergency on ritual killings and urged the National Orientation Agency (NOA), stakeholders and the media to initiate a campaign towards changing the situation in the country.

The House tasked the Executive Director, National Film and Video Censors Board to rise to the mandate of the agency as the clearinghouse for all movies produced in the country.

DAILY POST reports that ritual killing has recently become a trend across the country as videos clips of such activities involving adults and even teenagers continue to emerge online.

Source: Reps ask Buhari to declare national emergency over ritual killings

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Declare emergency on ritual killings, Reps tell FG

Published: February 10, 2022
By: Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja – The Sun, Nigeria

House of Representatives, yesterday, called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Baba Aikali, to step up intelligence, with a view to arrest and prosecute ritual killers across the country.

The House, which also called on the government to declare a national emergency on ritual killings, urged the National Orientation Agency, parents, heads of schools, religious leaders and the media to undertake a campaign against the menace.

Similarly, the Green Chamber charged the National Film and Video Censors Board to rise to its mandate as the clearing house for all movies produced in the country.

This followed the adoption of a motion by the Deputy Minority Leader, Toby Okechukwu, on the “need to curb the rising trend of ritual killings in the country.”

Okechukwu, while leading debate on the motion, said ritual killings have assumed an alarming rate in recent times. He said there have been an upsurge of reported cases of ritual killings with increasing cases of abductions and missing persons in different parts of the country.

According to him, in most cases, the culprits rape, maim, kill and obtain sensitive body parts of unsuspecting victims for rituals.

“The Red Cross Society in 2017 reported that it received 10,480 reports of missing persons in Nigeria. On January 22, 2022, three teenage suspects and a 20-year-old reportedly killed one Sofiat Kehinde, severed her head and burnt the head in a local pot in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

“Ogun State Police Command on Monday, February 7, reported that one of the suspects confessed he learned the act of ritual killing from a video he watched on Facebook. 

“Sofiat’s death has attracted national outrage and condemnation considering the ages of her killers,” he said.

He said it is worrisome that while youths in other climes are embracing science and technology, Nigerian youths “seem stuck in the mistaken belief that sacrificing human blood is the surest route to wealth, safety and protection.”

Okechukwu expressed dismay that ritual killings have “become a predominant theme in most home made movies,” and warned that if it is not checked, the younger generation may begin to see it as an acceptable norm.

He said a lot needs to be done by the police, other law enforcement agencies, as well as parents, religious institutions and schools to check the ugly development.

Source: Declare emergency on ritual killings, Reps tell FG

More:

Reps declare national emergency on ritual killings in Nigeria

Published: February 9, 2022
By: Bakare Majeeb – Premium Times, Nigeria

The House noted that while citizens of other countries are embracing science and technology, Nigerian youths are turning to ritual killings.

The House of Representatives has resolved to declare a national emergency on ritual killings in Nigeria.

It asked the National Orientation Agency (NOA), stakeholders and the media to initiate a campaign towards changing the situation in the country.

It also asked the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali, to take urgent steps towards tackling ritual killings in the country.

This followed a motion by the Deputy Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Toby Okechukwu (Enugu, PDP), who raised alarm over the surge in ritual related killings across the country.

Mr Okechukwu, in the motion of urgent public importance he moved on Wednesday, blamed Nigerian movies, popularly known as Nollywood, for the rising cases of ritual killings.

According to Mr Okechuckwu, while citizens of other countries are embracing science and technology, Nigerian youths are turning to ritual killings.

“While youths in other climes are embracing science and technology as a way of maintaining pace with our dynamic world, some of our youths seem stuck in the mistaken belief that sacrificing human blood is the surest route to wealth, safety and protection,” he said

Mr Okechukwu added that “ritual killing has become a predominant theme in most homemade movies which if not checked, our younger generation may begin to view it as an acceptable norm.

The killing of Sofia Kehinde 

He drew the attention of the House to the gruesome killing of me Sofiat Kehinde in Ogun State by some three teenagers in January for ritual related act sparked conversation on ritual.

Mr Okechukwu also condemned the use of social media “as a ready tool to advertise their evil behaviours.”

He also accused fake clerics, imams, herbalists and native doctors of being involved in promoting the get-rich-quick syndrome.

Following the presentation of the motion, the House resolved to declare a national emergency on ritual killings in Nigeria and called on National Orientation Agency, parents, heads of schools, religious leaders and the media to undertake a campaign to change the negative narrative that is bedevilling the society.

Also, it called on the Executive Director, National Film and Video Censors Board to rise to the mandate of the agency as the clearing house for all movies produced in the country.

It, therefore, mandated the House Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values to ensure the agency complies with the directive and report back to the House within four weeks.

Furthermore, the House called on the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Akali, to take urgent steps to increase surveillance and intelligence gathering with a view to apprehending and prosecuting all perpetrators of ritual killings in Nigeria.

It asked the House Committee on Police Affairs to ensure the compliance of the force and report back to the House within four weeks.

Source: Reps declare national emergency on ritual killings in Nigeria

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Reps blame Nigerian movies for surge in ritual killings; call for national emergency

House of Representatives, [PHOTO CREDIT: Official Twitter handle of Reps NGR]

Published: February 9, 2022
By: News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) – Peoples Gazette

The Nigerian lower legislative chamber attributed the increase in ritual killings to home videos depicting the gruesome acts in their productions.

The House of Representatives on Wednesday declared a national emergency following the rise in cases of ritual killings across Nigeria.

It also urged the National Orientation Agency (NOA), stakeholders, and the media to initiate a campaign towards changing the situation in the country.

This followed the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance by Toby Okechukwu, the deputy minority leader, at the plenary in Abuja.

Presenting the motion, Mr Okechukwu said that incidents of ritual killings had assumed an alarming rate in Nigeria while decrying the upsurge of reported ritual killings, and abductions in different parts of the country.

He also attributed the increase in ritual killings to home videos in Nigeria, arguing that younger generations may see ritual killing as a norm.

“Ritual killing had become a predominant theme in most homemade movies which if not checked, our younger generation may begin to view it as an acceptable norm,” he said.

Mr Okechukwu added that in most cases, the culprits also rape, maim, kill and cut out sensitive body parts of unsuspecting victims for rituals.

Citing the killing of Iniobong Umoren in Akwa Ibom and the recent incident of 21-year-old Sofiat Kehinde who was killed and had her head burnt in a local pot in Abeokuta, Ogun, the lawmaker said the news triggered condemnation considering the age of the suspected killers.

The House thereafter charged the Inspector General of Police to take urgent steps towards tacking ritual killings in the country.

The lower chamber also tasked the Executive Director, National Film and Video Censors Board to rise to the mandate of the agency as the clearing house for all movies produced in the country.

(NAN)

Source: Reps blame Nigerian movies for surge in ritual killings; call for national emergency

More: 

JUST IN: Reps declare national emergency over ritual killings

Published: February 9, 2022
By: Tony Akowa, Abuja – The Nation newspaper, Nigeria

Femi Gbajabiamila

Source: JUST IN: Reps declare national emergency over ritual killings

More: 

Reps call for state of emergency on ritual killings

Published: February 9, 2022
By: James Kwen – Business Day, Nigeria

Source: Reps call for state of emergency on ritual killings

More:

Ritual killing: National Assembly tell Nigeria goment to declare emergency on trend

Published: February 9, 2022
By: BBC

Source: Ritual killing: National Assembly tell Nigeria goment to declare emergency on trend

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Nigeria: six suspected ritualists nabbed over killing of 9-year-old boy in Zamfara State

Another sad story about the ritual killing of a 9-year old boy for ‘money rituals’ in Nigeria, this time in Zamfara State, in the islamic north of Africa’s most populated country. As I have recounted several times before, ritual murders occur in virtually every state in Nigeria and I fear that the cases which become known are just the tip of an iceberg.

Fortunately the police has reacted swiftly and arrested a number of suspects. Let’s pray that the story doesn’t fizzle out and that after a fair trial justice will be done. But there’s more work to do: the prevention of future ritual murders by eradicating the belief in ‘juju’ (webmaster FVDK).

Six suspected ritualists nabbed over killing of 9-year-old boy In Zamfara State

Published: January 12, 2022
By: Shehu Umar, Gusau – Daily Trust   

Zamfara State police command has arrested six people in connection with the killing of a nine-year-old boy for ritual purpose in Gusau, Caliphate Trust has learnt. 

The police had launched a manhunt for the culprits after a tip-off that the boy was  seen with one of them on the day he was abducted and killed.  

The suspects, upon interrogation by the police, revealed that they were assigned to kill the boy and extract parts of his body by an individual in Tudun Wada area of Gusau metropolis. 

One of them was reported to have said they had earlier killed two persons for ritual. He said he had been experiencing nightmares over the killing as the slain boy kept appearing to him in his dream smiling. 

The ring leader of the group responsible for the ritual killing was later apprehended and confessed to security operatives that he was the brain behind the killing of the boy.

Sources said the suspects had named one person in the state’s business community but that could not be independently verified.

The remains of the boy, identified Ahmad Aliyu Ijaba, was found in an uncompleted building in Barakallahu area of Gusau metropolis in December.  

The owner of the building spotted the decomposing body of the little boy when he went  to continue his construction work and immediately alerted the police. 

Ahmad went missing shortly after he came back from Islamiyya School in Gadar Baga  area of the city.  

The state police command’s spokesman, SP Muhammad Shehu, said investigation is ongoing and that he would not talk further about the matter.

Source: Six Suspected Ritualists Nabbed Over Killing Of 9-Year-Old Boy In Zamfara

Ghana: Church leader speaks out against the rising number of ritual murders in the country

Looking behind (at 2021) and forward: the new year 2022, the founder and leader of the Cornerstone Bible Church International sited at Ayiga in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region, Apostle Godbless Boateng, urged the Ghanaian authorities to act swiftly in view of the rising cases of ritual murders in recent times. He was speaking to the reporter of ‘Modern Ghana’ in an interview on Sunday, January 2.  

For more details and background, the interested reader is advised to listen to the interview, below (webmaster FVDK).

Enter 2022 with change of mindset — Apostle Godbless Boateng to Ghanaians

Screenshot – click link below (‘Source’) to watch this video

Published: January 10, 2022
By: King Amoah – Modern Ghana

Founder and leader of the Cornerstone Bible Church International sited at Ayiga in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region, His Eminence Apostle Godbless Boateng has asked Ghanaians to enter 2022 with a change of mindset.

Speaking to this reporter in an exclusive interview on Sunday, January 2, 2022 after church service, Apostle Godbless Boateng said Ghanaians have to forget the past and forge ahead. 

According to him, people who hold on to the past misses the treasures of the future. 

He indicated that one cannot be expected to reap from what lies ahead while still living in the past. 

The man of God noted that the country stands to develop if people change their mindset or attitude towards how they perceive things. 

On the rising cases of armed robberies and ritual murders in recent times, he urged authorities to act fast to clamp down on such bad nuts in society. 

According to him, drug abuse, armed robbery, ritual murder, drug peddling among other criminal acts is the order of the day. 

His Eminence Apostle Godbless Boateng advises the youth to be law abiding and stay away from actions that will cause them their life and future.

Source: Enter 2022 with change of mindset — Apostle Godbless Boateng To Ghanaians