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UN condemns attacks on albinos

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The United Nations (UN) in Malawi has condemned the abduction and killing of people with albinism.

The development comes after a resurgence of attacks on people with albinism, the latest being the abduction and murder of MacDonald Masambuka of Machinga District.

“This is a setback to progress achieved since 2014. The UN calls upon all stakeholders to redouble their efforts to implement the National Action Plan, which addresses the root causes of attacks on persons with albinism, including a nationwide awareness raising campaign…” reads a statement the UN released yesterday.

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The UN says it was concerned with rising cases of attacks, citing four people that have been attacked since January this year.

“If these measures are not put in place, we will continue registering violations of the rights of persons with albinism,” reads the statement, which has been signed by UN Resident Coordinator, Maria Jose Torres.

Masambuka, a 22-year-old man, was abducted on March 9 2018. Three weeks later, his remains were found in a garden after one of the suspects led police to where he was buried.

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“We are concerned that persons entrusted with the responsibility of promoting and protecting the rights of all Malawians, including persons with albinism, are allegedly involved in the killing of Macdonald Masambuka. We encourage the authorities to ensure a thorough, prompt and impartial investigation into the killing of McDonald Masambuka and bring the alleged perpetrators to justice,” the statement adds.

The UN says it will remain committed to supporting the government and people of Malawi in proactively promoting and protecting the rights of persons with albinism and ensuring their full participation in the socio-economic development of the country.

There are more than 20 UN agencies and specialised organisations active in Malawi.

Masambuka was laid to rest on Monday in his home village of Makawa, Traditional Authority Nkoola, in Machinga.

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