Africa

Burundi albino boy 'dismembered'

  • 24 October 2010
  • From the section Africa
Albino people in a safe haven in Tanzania, 01/09
Image caption Albinos in Tanzania have become targets for body-snatchers seeking to sell them to witch doctors

The dismembered body of a young albino boy has been found in a river on the Burundi-Tanzania border, reports say.

The boy, aged nine, was taken from Makamba province in Burundi by a gang that crossed the border, the head of Burundi's albino association said.

Kassim Kazungu told AFP the remains had been recovered from the Malagarazi river and given a formal burial.

Albino body parts are prized in parts of Africa, with witch-doctors claiming they have special powers.

Mr Kazungu told the AFP news agency that Tanzanian police had arrested five people, although there was no official confirmation from Tanzania.

In Tanzania, the body parts of people living with albinism are used by witch-doctors for potions which they tell clients will help make them rich or healthy.

Dozens of albinos have been killed, and the killings have spread to neighbouring Burundi.

In August a court in Tanzania sentenced a Kenyan to 17 years in jail on charges of trying to sell an albino person.

Tanzanian authorities have promised to crack down on albino traffickers, and several people have been sentenced to death in connection with killings.

More on this story

Around the BBC