Please do count yourselves fortunate that you do not live in a country where you’re hunted for your magical skin qualities.

I remember while serving in the U.S. Navy during the 70’s, walking through the city of Abidjan in the Ivory Coast, with the locals coming up to poke me with their fingers and to touch my white skin. I didn’t jump the gun and cry racism, but then again, maybe I should have.

The children hunted because of their skin: Malawi’s albino youths who are under protection from the police and army to stop hunters slaughtering them to use body parts in magic rituals

Malawi's albino children hunted as body parts used in magic rituals

These are the albino men and women put under police and army protection in a desperate bid to stop the cruel East African black market trade of their body parts. Police across Malawi have been ordered to shoot anyone caught attacking albinos, while Tanzania’s prime minister has previously urged citizens to kill anyone found with albino body parts.

And in nearby Burundi, youngsters from East Africa with albinism are being housed in special accommodation under army protection in a bid to fend off attackers. The drastic developments come as the United Nations reports at least 15 people with albinism, mostly children, have been killed, wounded, abducted or kidnapped in East Africa in the past six months by those seeking to profit from tragic and terrifying beliefs in black magic and witchcraft – where it is believed spells using albino body parts will bring luck, love and wealth.

Pictured centre is an albino boy sitting beside his parents; left is Dorothy Mausen, 22; and right is Mainasi Issa, 23, all from Malawi.

More here.

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