Albinos Demand Special Recognition

1901 Views Kampala, Uganda
Albinos in Uganda say they live in fear because they are targeted by witchdoctors from the neighboring countries. Ugandan albinos allege that sorcerers from Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi are willing to pay for their lives. Albinos are used for sacrifice and their body parts used for various rituals. Socerers beleive that albino body parts, when mixed with a magic potions bring wealth. The albinos say people look for their hair and urine, which they take to the witchdoctors to make concoctions. Jude Ssebyanzi, the chairman Uganda Albino Association says that the situation is worsened by the stigmatization of albinos in their communities. He says that some of the sorcerers target parents who produce albinos and convince them to hand them over for sacrifice. Ssebyanzi says that there are currently 180 albinos in the country, who are living a secluded life because of stigma. According to Ssebyanzi most of the witchdoctors who were expelled from Tanzania for sacrificing, albinos have found comfort in Uganda, where they operate freely. //Cue in: iwhen I was in# Cue out: #take sugar canesi// About 100 albinos were sacrificed in Tanzania last year. The killings were rampant in Mwanza, Mara, Shinyanga, Kigoma in the Lake Victoria zone neighboring Uganda and in Kagera near Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Ssebyanzi says they are planning to present a petition to the parliament seeking special recognition like other minority groups in the country. He says in the petition they are seeking for a special law protecting them and get a representative in parliament. Albinism is an inherited genetic condition characterized by the lack of the pigment melanin in the skin, eyes, and hair. Without melanin, an albino has very pale skin, visual problems and increased risk of skin cancer.


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