Arusha - Tanzanian police have arrested five men in
connection to a brutal attack on an albino woman whose arm was hacked off
earlier this week, presumably to sell the limb for use in witchcraft.
Police said they seized the men after discovering the
decomposing limb in a field on Friday, and after intercepting a telephone call
between two men in which they allegedly discussed its sale.
"We have every reason to believe that they are the
leaders," local police chief Peter Ngusa said on Saturday.
In Tanzania, albinos are killed and dismembered due to a
widespread belief that charms made from their body parts bring good fortune and
The victim, mother of four Maria Chambanenge, 39, from
Tanzania's southwestern Sumbawanga district, remains in hospital after the
Albinism is a genetic condition characterised by a
deficiency of melanin pigmentation in the skin, hair and eyes which protects
from the sun's ultraviolet rays.
People suffering from the condition are discriminated
against and persecuted in many African countries.
Last month an albino child died in Tanzania's Tabora region
after attackers hacked off his arm with a machete.
Kijo Bisimba, of Tanzania's Legal and Human Rights Centre
(LHRC) said recent attacks were "alarming" and pointed to an renewed
spate of assaults "after months of calm".
Such ritual killings have also occurred in neighbouring
Burundi and some of the attackers are suspected to be from Tanzania, where
albino body parts can fetch thousands of dollars.