21 February 2019

Malawi Albinism Group Meet Diplomats Over Seeking Asylum in Other Countries

Photo: Amnesty
Albinism in Malawi.

Association of People with Albinism in Malawi (Apam) officials are meeting diplomats in the country to seek asylum for the people with albinism following what they claim well founded fesar of persecution on claims that the government has failed to protect them.

Apam president Overstone Kondowe has confirmed that the association is meeting the diplomats.

"It is true that we are meeting them but we cannot give details at this stage because the discussions are still going on," said Kondowe.

Apam met the US ambassador to Malawi Virginia Palmer on Wednesday.

The seeking of asylum in safe countries come at a time when Home Security minister Nicholas Dausi said the attacks on people with albinism has not yet reached crisis levels.

The remarks have drawn anger from people with albinism and other civil society activists who described the comments as childish and insesitive.

Kondowe has since asked Dausi to resign as Cabinet minister, saying he is careless and irresponsible.

Meanwhile, the chair of the Malawi government task force for people with albinism, Dr. Hetherwick Ntaba, defends the initiative's work in the face of increased attacks in recent weeks. It follows Apam announcing it was withdrawing its support for the task force and calling for people with the condition to be able to seek asylum abroad.

"We are doing everything we can to protect them," said Ntaba on BBC Focus on Africa programme.

Ntaba said seeking asylum will not be the right idea to deal with the proble,

This year alone, there have been four attacks on people with albinism; one person was killed in Lilongwe, two abductions in Dedza and Lilongwe and two abductions were foiled in Balaka and Lilongwe.

Since 2015, there have been 19 killings of people with albinism and 150 attacks.

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