8 January 2019

Malawi: Albino Killings On the Rise in Malawi

Lilongwe — THE United Nations (UN) is concerned at the continued killings of people with albinism in Malawi.

This follows the recent killing of Yasin Phiri (aged 54) at Kande in the northern Nkhata Bay.

Phiri's murder comes amid failure by authorities to trace 12-year-old Joseph Kachingwe, who went missing in July 2018.

"This latest attack and other violations perpetrated against persons with albinism are a setback to the concerted efforts in the protection of people with albinism," said Benoit Thiry, UN Resident Coordinator in Malawi.

The UN urged the government of President Peter Mutharika and relevant stakeholders to intensify their efforts to effect immediate measures to protect people with albinism as the Southern African country goes towards elections.

Among such measures is the National Action Plan on Persons with Albinism.

"If these measures are not accelerated, we will continue registering human rights violations against persons with albinism (in Malawi)," Thiry said.

In the meantime, government has been encouraged to investigate the killing of Phiri, and bring the alleged perpetrators to justice as well as fast-track the investigation and prosecution of outstanding cases on violation of rights of people with albinism.

People living with albinism in Malawi are at huge risk of abduction and killings as their body parts are sold for witchcraft.

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