What You Need to Know:
Two civilians were injured and one killed on Saturday while trying to infiltrate a police station housing an individual suspected of killing and disemboweling an albino infant for a witchcraft ritual.
Police fired upon a mob of community members attempting to access Morrumbala prison, killing a 19-year old boy and injuring two.
The infant had been kidnapped from the home of his parents a week prior, with both parents sustaining knife wounds during the home invasion. The child’s body was found on January 31st in a wooded area of Morrumbala with its eyes, heart, arms, and legs removed.
Witchcraft is prevalent across Africa, particularly in Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, and South Africa, where albinos are often thought to have powers which can be harnessed through the use of their body parts in rituals by curandeiros, or witchdoctors.
An estimated 114 people with albinism have been killed in Mozambique since 2014. In 2017, a 17-year old albino boy was killed and his brain removed in the nation’s Tete region, while a father in the same region was arrested in 2022 for attempting to sell his three albino children to curandeiros.
Tete borders Malawi, a nation thought to have a booming trade in albino parts, with Ikponwosa Ero, a UN Human Rights Council Expert on Albinism, stating in 2016 that the body part trade in the country “constitutes an emergency, a crisis disturbing in its proportions.”