Searc h HOME Wednesday July 28, 2010 Feature Albino victim evicted from safe-house By a Correspon dent, 23rd October 2009 @ 22:00, Total Comments: 0, Hits: 1070 ONE year ago, Mariam Staford Bandaba, an albino woman living in Tanzania, was viciously Ms Miriam Staford Bandaba attacked by a machetewielding gang who tried to kill her and sell her remains for witchcraft. She escaped with her life, but only just. The attackers chopped off one of her hands - the other had to be amputated in hospital, where she spent weeks recovering from her horrific injuries. Traumatised, Ms Staford Bandaba then took the brave step of identifying her attackers. She was taken to a safe-house where she lived under government protection. But the government recently decided she could no longer live there, leaving the 28-year-old fearing for her safety. The administrative officer in the village where she was re-housed, Erasmus Rugarabamu, told the BBC Swahili service that the situation had improved and no albinos had been killed in her home village in the north-western Kagera region in the past year. The decision by the authorities comes just a few weeks after a court sentenced three men to death for the murder of an albino boy. Ms Staford Bandaba is one of thousands of people with albinism who live in fear in Tanzania. Her harrowing tale has become commonplace in a country where 53 albinos are believed to have been murdered in the past two years. Albinos, who are pale because of a lack of pigment in their skin, have been routinely killed because witchdoctors say that potions made with their body parts will bring good fortune in love, life and business to those who use them. The killings have also spread to neighbouring Burundi where at least 12 people have been murdered. The victims were mutilated and their body parts are believed to have been sold in Tanzania to make potions. Search

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