A 5-year-old albino boy was killed by unidentified gunmen and his body found without a head or legs in eastern DRC on Wednesday, likely a victim of occult practices against albinos in certain African countries, we have learned from local sources.
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“We condemn and deplore this new case of the murder of a 5-year-old albino kidnapped (Tuesday night) by gunmen with ulterior motives,” Archimedes Karhebwa, deputy administrator of the territory, told AFP Kalehe in South Kivu province on Thursday where the murder took place.
“The child was found dead in the bush the next morning, headless and without legs,” he added, assuring that “measures will be taken to ensure that such a case does not happen again in Kalehe.”
“Since 2009, 18 albinos have been killed in such circumstances, 10 albino graves have been desecrated and there have been 22 attempts to kidnap albinos in South Kivu,” said Juvénal Lushule, coordinator of Apia, an association of people with albinism in the province.
“This latest case outrages us and doesn’t surprise us because we have always been victims of this barbarism,” Mr Lushule continued, appealing to the authorities for protection and investigation.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo and other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, albinos are being targeted. Parts of their bodies are sold for witchcraft rituals believed to bring wealth and power.
Albinism is an inherited genetic disorder that causes a complete lack of pigmentation in the skin, hair, and eyes.