10,000 Albinos In Hiding After Killings In East Africa

Discussion in 'Soap Box' started by Bob26003, Nov 30, 2009.

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  1. Bob26003

    Bob26003 Well-Known Member

    NAIROBI, Kenya — The mistaken belief that albino body parts have magical powers has driven thousands of Africa's albinos into hiding, fearful of losing their lives and limbs to unscrupulous dealers who can make up to $75,000 selling a complete dismembered set.

    Mary Owido, who lacks pigment that gives color to skin, eyes and hair, says she is only comfortable when at work or at home with her husband and children.

    "Wherever I go people start talking about me, saying that my legs and hands can fetch a fortune in Tanzania," said Owido, 36, a mother of six. "This kind of talk scares me. I am afraid of going out alone."

    Since 2007, 44 albinos have been killed in Tanzania and 14 others have been slain in Burundi, sparking widespread fear among albinos in East Africa.

    At least 10,000 have been displaced or gone into hiding since the killings began, according to a report released this week by the International Federation for the Red Cross and Crescent societies.

    East Africa's latest albino murder happened in Tanzania's Mwanza region in late October, when albino hunters beheaded 10-year-old Gasper Elikana and chopped off his leg, the report said. The killing left Elikana's father, who tried to defend his son, seriously injured.

    Albinism is a hereditary condition, but occurs only when both parents have albinism genes. All six of Owido's children have normal skin color.

    African albinos endure insults, discrimination and segregation throughout their lives. They also have a high risk of contracting skin cancer in a region where many jobs are outdoors.
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    Owido, a high school teacher in the western Kenyan town of Ahero, says she was forced to transfer from a better teaching job on the Kenya-Tanzania border town of Isebania in 2008 after an albino girl she knew was murdered and her body parts chopped off.

    The surge in the use of albino body parts as good luck charms is a result of "a kind of marketing exercise by witch doctors," the International Federation for the Red Cross and Crescent societies said.

    The report says the market for albino parts exists mainly in Tanzania, where a complete set of body parts – including all limbs, genitals, ears, tongue and nose – can sell for $75,000. Wealthy buyers use the parts as talismans to bring them wealth and good fortune.

    "Albinism is one of the most unfortunate vulnerabilities," said International Federation for the Red Cross and Crescent societies Secretary General Bekele Geleta. "And it needs to be addressed immediately at an international level."

    The chairman of the Albino Association of Kenya, Isaac Mwaura, called the murders deplorable but said the killings have given albinos a platform to raise awareness.

    Almost 90 percent of albinos living in the region were raised by single mothers, Mwaura said, because the fathers believed their wives were having affairs with white men.

    "When I was born my father said his family tree doesn't have such children and left us," Mwaura said.

    Some African communities believe that albinos are harbingers of disaster, while others mistakenly think albinos are mentally retarded and discourage their parents from taking them to school, saying it's a waste of money, he said.

    Due to a lack of education, many albinos are illiterate and are forced into menial jobs, exposing them to the sun and skin cancer, he said. Those who manage to finish school face discrimination in the work place and are never considered for promotions.

    "People are very blind to albinism but it is very visible. Now that we have this issue in Tanzania is when people have started to talk about albinism," Mwaura said. "Before there was a studious silence."

  2. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    I've heard of this issue before. Tanzanian police forces have even distributed cell phones to albinos so that they can keep in emergency contact.
  3. lonercarrot

    lonercarrot Well-Known Member

    Is this 2500 BCE or something? Why do people still believe enough in this mystical shit to the point where they're killing humans for it?
  4. Mikeintx

    Mikeintx Well-Known Member

    Because it is Africa.
  5. lonercarrot

    lonercarrot Well-Known Member

    That's not a good enough reason...
  6. nolonger

    nolonger Well-Known Member

    Wow this is just so fucking sad. God damn it. :sad:, hacking off a little kids leg, fucking hell :eek:hmy:.
  7. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    The hunting and killing of albinos is not a continent-wide occurrence but a phenomenon limited to only some parts of East Africa, namely Tanzania. This isn't something widely believed or tolerated. It's not simply because it's Africa.

    Besides, it's not as if barbaric or primitive beliefs are limited to the third world.
  8. nagisa

    nagisa Chat & Forum Buddy Staff Alumni

  9. Mikeintx

    Mikeintx Well-Known Member

    Humor :dunno:
  10. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    Oh. Well I didn't know! :p
  11. xan

    xan Chat Buddy

    How many albinos are there? o_O didn't think it was that common, I've never really seen one.. but then it did say they are all hiding... :unsure:
  12. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    You may have. It's not hard to hide in a white-dominated culture with easy access to hair dye and tinted contact lenses.
  13. Kris.T

    Kris.T Well-Known Member

    lol... how fucking stupid can some people be, to believe this shit? :rolleyes: Third world country or not, common sense has to prevail at some point? They can't all be that stupid.
  14. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    Well thankfully they're not :p Most of the country leaves the albinos alone; one of them is even a member of the legislature. It's nuttier cultists, with doctors, and superstitious types perpetrating this thing.
  15. Chargette

    Chargette Well-Known Member

    Even tho most in Africa don't kill albinos the article did say they are discriminated against.
  16. Hache

    Hache Well-Known Member

    out of curiousity is it pronounced

  17. corang

    corang Well-Known Member

    al-by-no and i read about this on the AOL news its crazy atleast in our minds clearly not theirs.
  18. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    True, but discrimination is found in every society. I recall albinos facing problems even here in the West.

    Of course, discrimination is still a problem.
  19. Scully

    Scully Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I'm against it, but they're educated another. I'm NOT at all saying it's right.
  20. LetItGo

    LetItGo Staff Alumni

    It's a strange world.
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