Mozambique engages Zimbabwean engineers
File photo / More than 100 attacks against people with albinism occurred in Mozambique since 2014, says UN expert
Ikponwosa Ero, a specialist who has prepared a report for the UN on people with albinism, has told Lusa that the situation in Mozambique “requires urgent and immediate attention”.
“Similar situations exist in most of sub-Saharan Africa, but the number of attacks registered in Mozambique is among the highest,” she said, adding that “the cycle of violence, attacks and discrimination must end”.
Ikponwosa Ero presented her report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva last week. It includes the conclusions drawn after a trip to Mozambique in September of last year, at which time she said that it was estimated that more than 100 attacks against people with albinism had occurred in Mozambique since 2014.
Official government figures indicate that about 47 people with albinism were targeted in 2015. Following the attacks, the Mozambican government implemented a series of measures including an awareness-raising campaign and the charging of 91 suspects, of whom eight were convicted.
Ero’s report says these measures “need to continue, even in a context of economic and political challenges. In this context, violent attacks and discrimination against people with albinism face a real risk of being ignored”. A “resurgence of attacks” could occur, the report adds.
“In addition, the economic situation could encourage people to resort to witchcraft, including the use of parts of the body of people with albinism,” she explains.
She advises the Mozambican government to gather more information on the situation and proposes to include a question on albinism in the censuses planned for this year.
At least 600 people with albinism have been targeted in 27 countries in the last six years, according to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.