UPDATE- Mum and stepdad charged over missing Malawi albino boy

Malawi- The mother and stepfather of a missing albino boy were charged with kidnapping and “intent to murder” by Malawi police on Wednesday, along with three other relatives.

After the country’s independence day celebrations, the twelve-year-old James Kachingwe disappeared, his been missing for five days, after he failed to return to his home in the south-eastern Phalombe district.

Police spokesperson James Kadadzera told AFP that the other suspects arrested include an aunt and two uncles.

He said, “Since we have not established whether the boy is alive or dead, we have charged them with conspiracy, kidnapping and abducting with intent to murder.”

Kadadzera added that police were working hard “to end this barbaric act of terrorising people with albinism in Malawi”.

Malawi, one of the world’s poorest and aid-dependent country, has experienced a massive increase in violent attacks on people with albinism over the last four years.

In many cases their abduction of people with albinism is for their body parts to be used in witchcraft.

According to AFP report albinism is the genetic hereditary disorder, caused partially or the total absence of pigmentation in the skin, hair and eyes – as a result albinos often experience eye problems and have a heightened risk of skin cancer.

In a June 28 report, rights group Amnesty International said that since November 2014 there have been 148 crimes reported against people with albinism that have claimed at least 21 lives.

Only about 30% of those attacks have been thoroughly investigated, according to official statistics, with only one murder and one attempted murder case successfully prosecuted.

Malawi has a high record of violence against ablinos, of the 600 cases of violence against albinos in 28 African countries, Malawi accounted for a third of those.

Photo Credit- File photo

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