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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Tanzanian police arrest two for kidnapping child with albinism

ARUSHA, Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian police on Thursday arrested a Tanzanian citizen and a Kenyan national for abducting a five-year old child with albinism.

Hamis Issah, Kilimanjaro Regional Police Commander, said the suspects were arrested on Thursday in northern Tanzania’s district of Mwanga as they were attempting to cross over to the neighboring Kenya through Lake Jipe.

Issah said the suspects had earlier visited the house belonging to parents of the abducted child in Ubungo ward in Mwanga District. They sweet talked the parents and later disappeared with Julius.

“Alarmed by the disappearance of her child, the mother raised an alarm and thereafter the whole village began searching for the child before locating him with the suspects on Lake Jipe,” alleged the regional police boss.

The two are still in police custody and were being interrogated to establish their motive behind kidnapping the child with albinism.

People with albinism (PWA) have over the years been subject to a spate of brutal killings in Tanzania, driven by the belief that their body parts possess magical powers capable of bringing riches.

Since 2007, the country has witnessed a wave of albino killings with parts of their bodies being brutally chopped off. According to available records, about 43 people with albinism have been brutally murdered or their body parts hacked off.

Tanzania is believed to be a home to more than 170,000 people with albinism, according to a 2008 World Health Organization (WHO) report.

The United Nations said more than 70 people with albinism have been murdered in Tanzania since 2000, a move which has tarnished the country’s image internationally.

 

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