Thursday, September 24, 2015

Chissano Comes Out in Defence of Albinos

Resultado de imagem para joaquim chissanoFormer Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano on Wednesday called for a major effort to educate society about albinism in order to stamp out the kidnapping and murder of albinos.Crimes against albinos have mostly occurred in the northern province of Nampula, where at least eight albinos have been kidnapped. Superstitious claims, apparently imported from Tanzania, are made that albino body parts possess magical powers. Speaking to reporters outside a conference on access to justice, organized by the National Legal Aid Institute (IPAJ), Chissano described discrimination against and persecution of albinos as “an aberration”, which could be eradicated through education.“It makes no sense to persecute albinos because of small differences in the characteristics of their skins or their eyes”, he declared. “We are all different. We have different skins, different eyes, different hair. Why persecute the albinos. The albinos are just as intelligent as anybody else”.There should instead be a social movement to support the albinos, he added, because some of them are very poor and do not have the means to acquire te material needed to protect them from the sun, and allow them a better life. Albinos were just as useful to society as other Mozambicans, Chissano stressed. “Isn’t it good to hear Ali Faque singing beautifully? Isn’t it good to have a pastor like Jamisse Taimo?” he asked, citing the names of the two best known Mozambican albinosSpeaking at the opening of the conference, Deputy Justice Minister Joaquim Verissimo said the government is worried by the kidnapping of albinos, and has set up a multi-sector commission, coordinated by his ministry, to look into the matter.“This commission is drawing up a plan of action in order to come up with additional measures that can mitigate the phenomenon, with rigour, seriousness and speed in dealing with cases”, he said.Verissimo urged all segments of society to denounce to the authorities any suspected cases of kidnapping.Protecting albino citizens was a major challenge, he admitted, but he was optimistic that “we shall be successful”. 

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