Poverty, ignorance and politics fueling the murder of albinos – UN envoy

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In the face of increased attacks against people living with albinism in Malawi, UN independent expert on human right and albinism has said that the attacks are largely increasing as a result of poverty, witchcraft beliefs and in some way political.

A victim of attacks on albinos in Tanzania

Attacks on albinos escalating

In an interview with Al Jazeera after visiting Malawi, the expert Ikponwosa Ero, said that albinos in Malawi were on the verge of extinction if there are no strict measures to protect them. Her comments were coming hot on the heels of disturbing reports in the dailies of people with albinism being hacked to death and their remains being exhumed.

In an interview with Al Jazeera, Ero said that the rise in the killings of people with albinism was mostly a result of poverty and witchcraft practices in Malawi.

“The situation is a potent mix of poverty, witchcraft beliefs and market forces which push people to do things for profit,” Ero said of the sad situation in Malawi. “There is a lack of understanding about people with albinism, not only in developing countries but also in developed nations. So when they bring in this lack of knowledge in the context of poverty, witchcraft beliefs and economic factors, you get a dangerous combination.”

Ero also hinted that in other parts of Africa, the rise in the killing of people with albinism and the subsequent exhumation of their body parts could have been a result of political activities.

“There are other indicators that seem to aggravate the attacks,” Ero said in trying to understand the surge in killings of people with albinism. “Last year, for example, was an election year for many countries in the region and the attacks went up overall. This fed into the suspicion that powerful people are behind these attacks.”

Ero hinted that witch doctors sometimes are believed to advise their clients to get bones of people with albinism if they are to win an election.

She also urged the media to be sensitive in its reporting of the issue as some people were making up their minds to attack albinos basing on what the media is publishing.

“There is a need for the media to be clear, to indicate that it is just an allegation that there is a market for bones of people living with albinism,” she said.

Ero has since urged the government and the civil society to join hands in fighting the crimes against humanity that people living with albinism are made to go through.

Malawi is understood to have 10,000 people living with albinism. They are now living in fear for their lives following myths and misconceptions around their body parts.

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103 Comments

  1. I dont want you the journalist to say Albinism scandal is the cause of witch craft. The Malawi Government and it cabinet proved there’s no witch in Malawi. Thats what the Government wants people to die cause I think to catch a big fish it need abig bait and hook. Now the big fish is consuming all small fish around

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  4. @Black Admarky wat evidence do u hve on wat u r saying? Ukati boma likudziwapo kanthu wat do u mean?Komatu zinazi mukamalemba muzidziwa ma limit and also kno tht ther r more wiser ppl than u,these kilings r done by selfish pple who thnks mney is evrthing.

  5. chinanso tivomeleze kuti ufiti ulipo(zizimba nde ufiwo) ndipo tipeze njira zoyenera zothanirana ndi onse otamba in courts,religions etc

  6. chinanso tivomeleze kuti ufiti ulipo(zizimba nde ufiwo) ndipo tipeze njira zoyenera zothanirana ndi onse otamba in courts,religions etc

  7. ofunika nfuti yangai ndi tumize ku malawi ndizango lengeza kuti ndiku gula alubino koma wa moyo ndizizango shutter ali ese ama panga nkhalidwe wa manyi u

  8. ofunika nfuti yangai ndi tumize ku malawi ndizango lengeza kuti ndiku gula alubino koma wa moyo ndizizango shutter ali ese ama panga nkhalidwe wa manyi u

  9. Zomanamizila umphawi ndi zabodza izi chifukwa umphawi munthawi ya Nowa, Eliya, Mose,David ndi ena otero udalipo nde tisamanamizanepo apa koma kuti tinene kuti THESE ARE LAST DAYS where people are ruthless just to fulfill what was written in the bible!

  10. In the face of increased attacks against people living with albinism in Malawi, UN independent expert on human right and albinism has said that the attacks are largely increasing as a result of poverty, witchcraft beliefs and in some way political. Attacks on albinos escalating In an interview with Al Jazeera after visiting Malawi, the expert Ikponwosa Ero, said that albinos in Malawi were on the verge of extinction if there are no strict measures to protect them. Her comments were coming hot on the heels of disturbing reports in the dailies of people with albinism being hacked to death and their remains being exhumed. In an interview with Al Jazeera, Ero said that the rise in the killings of people with albinism was mostly a result of poverty and witchcraft practices in Malawi. “The situation is a potent mix of poverty, witchcraft beliefs and market forces which push people to do things for profit,” Ero said of the sad situation in Malawi. “There is a lack of understanding about people with albinism, not only in developing countries but also in developed nations. So when they bring in this lack of knowledge in the context of poverty, witchcraft beliefs and economic factors, you get a dangerous combination.” Ero also hinted that in other parts of Africa, the rise in the killing of people with albinism and the subsequent exhumation of their body parts could have been a result of political activities. “There are other indicators that seem to aggravate the attacks,” Ero said in trying to understand the surge in killings of people with albinism. “Last year, for example, was an election year for many countries in the region and the attacks went up overall. This fed into the suspicion that powerful people are behind these attacks.” Ero hinted that witch doctors sometimes are believed to advise their clients to get bones of people with albinism if they are to win an election. She also urged the media to be sensitive in its reporting of the issue as some people were making up their minds to attack albinos basing on what the media is publishing. “There is a need for the media to be clear, to indicate that it is just an allegation that there is a market for bones of people living with albinism,” she said. Ero has since urged the government and the civil society to join hands in fighting the crimes against humanity that people living with albinism are made to go through. Malawi is understood to have 10,000 people living with albinism. They are now living in fear for their lives following myths and misconceptions around their body parts

  11. In the face of increased attacks against people living with albinism in Malawi, UN independent expert on human right and albinism has said that the attacks are largely increasing as a result of poverty, witchcraft beliefs and in some way political. Attacks on albinos escalating In an interview with Al Jazeera after visiting Malawi, the expert Ikponwosa Ero, said that albinos in Malawi were on the verge of extinction if there are no strict measures to protect them. Her comments were coming hot on the heels of disturbing reports in the dailies of people with albinism being hacked to death and their remains being exhumed. In an interview with Al Jazeera, Ero said that the rise in the killings of people with albinism was mostly a result of poverty and witchcraft practices in Malawi. “The situation is a potent mix of poverty, witchcraft beliefs and market forces which push people to do things for profit,” Ero said of the sad situation in Malawi. “There is a lack of understanding about people with albinism, not only in developing countries but also in developed nations. So when they bring in this lack of knowledge in the context of poverty, witchcraft beliefs and economic factors, you get a dangerous combination.” Ero also hinted that in other parts of Africa, the rise in the killing of people with albinism and the subsequent exhumation of their body parts could have been a result of political activities. “There are other indicators that seem to aggravate the attacks,” Ero said in trying to understand the surge in killings of people with albinism. “Last year, for example, was an election year for many countries in the region and the attacks went up overall. This fed into the suspicion that powerful people are behind these attacks.” Ero hinted that witch doctors sometimes are believed to advise their clients to get bones of people with albinism if they are to win an election. She also urged the media to be sensitive in its reporting of the issue as some people were making up their minds to attack albinos basing on what the media is publishing. “There is a need for the media to be clear, to indicate that it is just an allegation that there is a market for bones of people living with albinism,” she said. Ero has since urged the government and the civil society to join hands in fighting the crimes against humanity that people living with albinism are made to go through. Malawi is understood to have 10,000 people living with albinism. They are now living in fear for their lives following myths and misconceptions around their body parts

  12. When did we discovered the poverty life in Malawi?
    I disagree that idea of poverty. When did we started living with our fellow albinism Malawians? If you have seen that albinism killings has influenced by our poverty, why can’t you just drop that bag of money and share it to an individual Malawians, so we should cover the poverty situation?

  13. Tikhonza kumangotha mawu pa nkhani yonvesa chisoni ngati imeneyi malawi anali ndi mbili yabwino…..koma lero ndizonvesa chisoni ku tikuphana tokhatokha…just because of money we forget the day of judgement. ….nkhani yayikulu ndiyoti boma likuziwapo kanthu za imfa yabalewa…..chifukwa chomwe chikudabwisa pa nkhaniyi ndichakuti anthuwa akumasowanso kumalo kumene akusungidwa ndi boma……boma likufunika lichitepo kanthu…..cos we can’t stand a side and watch…..anthu athu akufa popanda chifukwa mutharika must fail….pamtumbo pake

  14. Ndi makomenti ambili omwe akulembedwa osonyeza kudanda ula pankhaniyi choyamba ndi thokoze nonso amene mukunva chisononi pankhani yi amen

  15. It’s only POLICTS which is fueling such immoral habit. Bcoz POVERTY and IGNORANCE it’s just like our culture here in MALAWI.umbuli ndi uphawi unayamba kalekale b4 iwas born, pomaliza ndingoti there’s no court 4 albino attackers anymor we will be judging ourselves in our communities by killing such thugs.

  16. I agree wat un r sain.poverty,power of ignrant and politics.izi zikuchitika cuz ena thy want dirty some1reputation,ena akutumidwa to do dis job for mony.

  17. Penal Code Section 201 of our constitution provides that individuals convicted of murder shall be liable to be punished with death or life imprisonment”……but no executions of those found guilty since 92…Parliament must amend the Act and add “even those planning to carry out an act of murder and the accomplices and those with intent to buy body parts be sentenced to death”

  18. all those happening because poor security, I disagree about poverty,ignorance and politics,,, poor governace it will affect many ngati mukundiuza za umphawi kodi liti dziko lathu linakhalapo lolemera? what we need is good security and working hand in hand to protect albinism otherwise pamene azapangila #discoverKuti black people ndi deal basi tikutha ngati #Bonya.Poor #SecurityInMalawi #BelieveThat

  19. all those happening because poor security, I disagree about poverty,ignorance and politics,,, poor governace it will affect many ngati mukundiuza za umphawi kodi liti dziko lathu linakhalapo lolemera? what we need is good security and working hand in hand to protect albinism otherwise pamene azapangila #discoverKuti black people ndi deal basi tikutha ngati #Bonya.Poor #SecurityInMalawi #BelieveThat

  20. all those happening because poor security, I disagree about poverty,ignorance and politics,,, poor governace it will affect many ngati mukundiuza za umphawi kodi liti dziko lathu linakhalapo lolemera? what we need is good security and working hand in hand to protect albinism otherwise pamene azapangila #discoverKuti black people ndi deal basi tikutha ngati #Bonya.Poor #SecurityInMalawi #BelieveThat

    • I like your comment but in other words am also adding that point of politics, i agree in the sence that the security your talking about becomes weak becouse of the leadership of the particur time eg the time of muluzi there were also too much killings of women more especially in chiladzulu

  21. today I begin to understand honourable gwanda chakwamba, in one of his intreview about his qualificatios he said, certificate or degrees can bt l rulling a country why? coz is just simply a piece of paper only person can rule tge country.Look the Malawi now, we hav a head of state so called proffessor bt look the country is full of mess.everydy what he think ia messing the country.I dnt trust this gvmt any more.Gvmt know better who are behind albino killers.

  22. today I begin to understand honourable gwanda chakwamba, in one of his intreview about his qualificatios he said, certificate or degrees can bt l rulling a country why? coz is just simply a piece of paper only person can rule tge country.Look the Malawi now, we hav a head of state so called proffessor bt look the country is full of mess.everydy what he think ia messing the country.I dnt trust this gvmt any more.Gvmt know better who are behind albino killers.

  23. The Laws Are Made 4 The Poor, Even These Cases Of Albino, There Is Some Big Fish Big Men And Women, Who Are Behind In All This, But Only Poor People Are Caught, My Malawi Will Never Change,

  24. The Laws Are Made 4 The Poor, Even These Cases Of Albino, There Is Some Big Fish Big Men And Women, Who Are Behind In All This, But Only Poor People Are Caught, My Malawi Will Never Change,

  25. Why is it that in Malawi or in Africa in general if someone want to become rich she/he has to kill? are we not creative enough to devise ways of being thriving peiple? Just imagine if your sibling is albino let alone you,yourself being albino,how would live in a such atrocious predicament? there are myriad ways of making a living than these pathetic killings of innocent people. God help my crying nation.

  26. Why is it that in Malawi or in Africa in general if someone want to become rich she/he has to kill? are we not creative enough to devise ways of being thriving peiple? Just imagine if your sibling is albino let alone you,yourself being albino,how would live in a such atrocious predicament? there are myriad ways of making a living than these pathetic killings of innocent people. God help my crying nation.

  27. The Biggest Trick ever created by Satan is to convice man that him (Satan) doesnot exist. if witchcraft its hypothetic then why these albino deaths. First believe witchcraft is real then you will find means and ways of helping albinos or else expect more deaths.

  28. The Biggest Trick ever created by Satan is to convice man that him (Satan) doesnot exist. if witchcraft its hypothetic then why these albino deaths. First believe witchcraft is real then you will find means and ways of helping albinos or else expect more deaths.

  29. We always wait for the white man to assess a situation, and tell us the problems yet we can do it ourselves.On this issue, we all know the problems , one is lack of job opportunities, to get money

  30. We always wait for the white man to assess a situation, and tell us the problems yet we can do it ourselves.On this issue, we all know the problems , one is lack of job opportunities, to get money

  31. Who controls boarders and airport exit ndani amangodutsamo without searched.m’Malawi muno mulibe sing’anga angapeleke K80million kumuthu ogulisa ziwalo. These top cabinet officials ndamene amangodutsa osachetsedwatu paja.

  32. Who controls boarders and airport exit ndani amangodutsamo without searched.m’Malawi muno mulibe sing’anga angapeleke K80million kumuthu ogulisa ziwalo. These top cabinet officials ndamene amangodutsa osachetsedwatu paja.

  33. It’s true that politics is there because a killer cannot be sentenced to a certain number of years of imprisonment yet she/he has brutally killed someone.It is not fair.They are supposed to be killed also .And Its really true that some of these whom we call politicians know the markets of albinos.we wish if during the forthcoming Parliamentantally sitting this issue be tabled and become a law that whoever kills an albino should receive death penalty.

  34. It’s true that politics is there because a killer cannot be sentenced to a certain number of years of imprisonment yet she/he has brutally killed someone.It is not fair.They are supposed to be killed also .And Its really true that some of these whom we call politicians know the markets of albinos.we wish if during the forthcoming Parliamentantally sitting this issue be tabled and become a law that whoever kills an albino should receive death penalty.

    • Penal Code in our Constitution Section 201 provides that individuals convicted of murder shall be liable to be punished with death or with imprisonment for life”………..but I urgue our parliament to Amend this section and add that “the accomplices and the would be buyers of human parts and those who intend to carry out murder be sentenced to death” …as it is nobody has been executed for murder since 1992!!!!

    • Boss u are not familiar with court issues. No one has been sentenced for killing an albino. They were just sentenced for abduction and conspirancy to murder. The murder case itself was commited to high court bcoz lower courts cant handle

    • opha mzake nayenso aphedwe,nanga bwanji mukupondeleza malamulo omwe mudapanga nokha padzana paja?Ine ndikadakhala mtsogoleri ndikadakuphani nonse omwe mukuphwanya malamulo.

  35. Bt I think this is happening because of lack of belief. Because for someone who believe in true God can’t do this evil. Pasop God is watching. And you are not gonna miss he’ll because you have missed heaven already.

  36. Bt I think this is happening because of lack of belief. Because for someone who believe in true God can’t do this evil. Pasop God is watching. And you are not gonna miss he’ll because you have missed heaven already.

    • my friend those who practice magic are believers even more than you think, for they belive for example if u take that root and mix with that potion they can fly and it happens. thats their belief

    • my friend those who practice magic are believers even more than you think, for they belive for example if u take that root and mix with that potion they can fly and it happens. thats their belief

  37. Let me ask you this question if one of MPs is involved in this albinos issue are you going to tell the people in malawi? It shows that those MPS AND MINISTERS they know very well where market of albinos is.

  38. Let me ask you this question if one of MPs is involved in this albinos issue are you going to tell the people in malawi? It shows that those MPS AND MINISTERS they know very well where market of albinos is.

  39. Anthu ochimwa inu musaiwale kuti tsiku likubwera posachedwapa. Kuzakhala kulira kwa anthu but it will be too late. Musile Mulungu za machimo anu. Dziko ili silanu ayi.

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