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Malawi Sees a Resurgence of Attacks on People With Albinism

Police say fresh attacks against people living with albinism have left one person dead and a girl traumatized. The United Nations in Malawi on Wednesday called on the government to address the root causes of the attacks, which have killed over 170 albinos over the past seven years. Police records show that two people have been attacked within the past week in southern Malawi. The latest is an attack on a 12-year-old albino girl in Machinga district who narrowly survived abduction Tuesday night when two unknown assailants broke into her bedroom. The assailants fled after the girl’s mother shouted for help. The incident came three days after police in Mangochi district arrested three people in connection to the death on a 26-year-old man, Saidi Futon Dayton, who went missing January 27. According to police, the attackers confirmed killing Dayton but said his body was taken in a bag for sale by their accomplice, who is still at large. Albinos in Malawi have been facing attacks because of false beliefs that concoctions mixed with their body parts brings wealth and good luck. Statistics show over 170 albinos have been killed since 2014, with others missing and graves exhumed. Malawi’s government has tried various means to end these attacks. In 2019, it distributed mobile personal security alarms to the country’s estimated 10,000 albinos.