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East African albinos fear witchcraft murders


In Burundi, 11 albinos have been killed since last year.  In Tanzania, over 40 have been killed since mid-2007 by people who use their body parts, including hair, limbs and genitals, for witchcraft.

Tanzania is currently holding a secret vote to try to identity those involved in the murders and the trade in body parts. It has also banned traditional healers in an effort to curb the killings.

It is not clear why there has been such an upsurge in murders although Tanzania’s government and albino groups blame people involved in fishing and small-scale mining, an industry that has been booming.

The graves of albinos had long been plundered for the gruesome trade, leading to them being filled with concrete to prevent robbery. The killings are more recent.