According to the British Broadcasting Co-operation world service, about eight people in Burundi have been apprehended for dealing in human body parts of persons with albinism. The police reports say those arrested had fresh body parts in their possession.
Witchdoctors who facilitated the inhumane practice are reported to have told their clients that potions made from albino body parts will bring them luck in love, life and business. At least 10 and 40 albinos have been killed in Burundi and neighboring Tanzania respectively.
Prosecutor Nicodeme Gahimbare told the AFP News agency that those arrested were “simple farmers” acting as middlemen. “They have albino’s bones with them, some of them still fresh.” He said. Mr. Gahimbare said three of the gang had escaped into Tanzania but he was optimistic the perpetrators will soon be apprehended.
Kazundu kassim, the president of a Burundi Albino Association, said the government was now taking the killing of albinos seriously but more needed to be done. “We urge the authorities to double efforts in protecting albinos, because what we are witnesses here is a planned extermination of the albino community” he said.
At least 200 people have been arrested over the trade in Tanzania but none have been convicted, raising fear that senior government officials could be involved.