EU 'appalled' by Albino killings in Tanzania

By Martha Saranga, Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The European Union delegation in Tanzania has expressed deep concern over the murder of albinos in the East African country

The European Union delegation in Tanzania has expressed deep concern over the murder of albinos in the East African country

DAR ES SALAAM – The European Union delegation in Tanzania has expressed deep concern over the murder of albinos in the East African country.

"We have been shocked and appalled by the murder of Ms. Munghu Lugata on the 12th of this month," head of the E.U. delegation, Filiberto Cerian Sebregondi, told Anadolu Agency on Tuesday.

"We condemn this inhumane killing," he said.

Two witch doctors were arrested in northwestern Tanzania for allegedly killing a 40-year old albino woman.

They allegedly broke into the woman's home, killed her and "cut off one of her legs and two of her fingers and fled."

The latest murder brings to 73 the number of albinos killed in Tanzania since 2000.

Albino killings are associated with witchcraft, as albino body parts are believed in some circles to have magical properties.

"We call upon the Tanzanian government to halt this practice and take all necessary measures to prevent further incidents and ensure the perpetuators are brought to book," Sebregondi said.

European ambassadors have written a letter to Prime Minister Mizingo Pinda to register their concern over the phenomenon.

"The E.U. is encouraging civil society and rights groups to come up with ways to deal with these killings," Sebregondi said. "We shall give them grants to run their programs."

Human rights groups in Tanzania blame the government for lacking appropriate legislation to deal with the perpetuators of such killings.

"We are so disappointed with the government [because] it has not shown any commitment to fight this crime," Viky Ntetema, leader of the Under the Same Sun organization (which advocates for people living with albinism), told AA.

"Until when shall we see our brothers and sisters being murdered just because of evil beliefs?" she said angrily.

The authorities say they are doing all they can to deal with the killings.

Copyright © 2014 Anadolu Agency