click on image to return to
Not Only in Liberia index

Not only in Liberia
Ritual Killing in Burundi (>20 cases reported here)

Freedom of fear is a human right
Rule of law an obligation of the state


  1. Ritual murder of albinos back again!
    (In French)
    Summary in English:
    After one year of no murders, a 15-year old albino girl named Chantal has been found murdered in the Kabezi community, south of the capital Bujumbura, on May 6. Her death and mutilation brings the total number of reported cases since 2008 to over 20.
    According to the president of the organization 'Albinos without borders' (Albinos sans Frontières') the killers slit the girl's throat and dismembered her. A neighbor, Kassim Kazungu, affirms that Chantal is the 18th person murdered for ritual purposes in the community since 2008. The government of Burundi is blamed for doing nothing to protect its citizens and for being too passive after the escape from prison of a number of convicted ritual killers.
    May 7, 2012
  2. Ritual murder of albino
    A 8-year old boy has been found dead and mutilated in the province of Ruyigi, near Tanzania. This brings the total to eight murdered albinos and one still missing in the past four months.
    Last May a 28-year old mother together with her 4-year old son were killed and mutilated for ritual purposes in the community of Cendajuru, also near the Tanzanian border.
    Since September 2008 14 albinos have been murdered in Burundi.
    Article is in French.
    October 4, 2010
  3. Jail over Burundi albino murders
    One person has been sentenced to life in prison and eight others to jail over the murder of albinos whose remains were sold for witchcraft. Three other suspects were acquitted by the court in Ruyigi province over the the killings of at least 12 albinos.
    In addition to the killing of albinos in Burundi, more than 40 have been killed in Tanzania.
    The trial is believed to be the first linked to a spate of albino killings in East Africa since 2007.
    July 23, 2009
  4. Regional parliament decries albino killings
    The East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) has decried the killing of albinos in the region and urged "tougher measures" to stop the ritual murders and protect albinos. (...) At the ongoing meeting of the regional parliament in Bujumbura, Burundi, MPs from the five EAC member states called for regional cooperation to protect albinos victimised by superstitious fortune seekers.
    The killings are rampant in some parts of Burundi, Kenya and Tanzania.
    The legislators said while "considerable progress" had been made on human rights issues in the EA region, the current killings and hostility portrayed towards the albino community showed there was still a long way to go in achieving the full respect for human rights.
    May 30, 2009
  5. Burundian albino murders denied
    The trial has begun in Burundi of 11 defendants accused of attacking and killing 12 albino people.
    It is thought to be the first trial linked to the recent spate of albino killings in East Africa, which has claimed more than 50 lives.
    Police believe albino body parts are smuggled out of Burundi and sold in Tanzania, to be used in witchcraft. (...) In addition to the killing of albinos in Burundi, more than 40 albinos have been killed in Tanzania.
    May 19, 2009

    Burundi albinos murder trial opens
    The trial of 11 people accused of the ritual killing of 12 albino people opened on Tuesday in Ruyigi, some 200 kilometers east of Bujumbura.
    The killings were carried out over a six-month period from September 2008 mainly in the Ruyigi province.
    A ruling is expected by Wednesday, the prosecutor said.
    May 19, 2009

    More on the same trial:

  6. Progress in the 'Albino cases'
    This report refers to the item reported below, see under 3).

    Burundi: Des progrès dans les "affaires d'albinos"
    Huit personnes trouvées à leurs domiciles en possession d'ossements humains censés provenir d'albinos assassinés ont été arrêtés dans la province de Ruyigi, dans l'est du Burundi. Selon le parquet local, les personnes interpellées ont été dénoncées par deux autres suspects arrêtés ayant avoué avoir assassiné deux albinos.

    Deux pays d'Afrique des Grands Lacs notamment - le Burundi et la Tanzanie voisine - connaissent ces derniers mois une vague de meurtres rituels d'albinos alimentée par un commerce macabre. Les organes d'individus souffrant d'albinisme - absence de pigments colorants de la peau - sont très recherchés des sorciers et autres fétichistes parce qu'ils sont censés porter chance en amour et en affaires notamment.
    March 15, 2009
  7. Burundi arrests eight for albino killings
    Bujumbura (Reuters) - Burundi has arrested eight people found with human bones suspected of belonging to albinos (...), said Nicodeme Gahimbare, a public prosecutor in the eastern Ruyigi province.
    "The eight were denounced by two other detained people who have already confessed to killing two albinos," Gahimbare said.
    Since last year, 11 albinos have been killed in Burundi. March 15, 2009
  8. Albino boy killed
    Un garcon albinos tué

    This article is only available in French. It is preceeded by a short abridged version in English.

    Bujumbura (AFP) - Another albino boy was murdered, this time in the Muruta community, in Kayanza Province (about 90 km north of the capital Bujumbura. "The people of the region found the body of a boy of eight or ten years old who was killed and whose legs and arms had been cut off. (....)". On February 24, a six-year-old boy had been murdered and dismembered in the same Kayanza Province.
    The recent killing brings the total number of ritual murders of albinos to nine in the past five moths.
    March 9, 2009

    Below the original French version:

    Burundi: un garcon albinos tué
    Bujumbura (AFP) — Un garçon albinos a été tué et mutilé dans le nord du Burundi, dernier cas d'une série de meurtres rituels visant les albinos dans ce pays et en Tanzanie voisine, a-t-on appris lundi de source administrative. Ce nouveau meurtre a eu lieu dans la commune de Muruta, dans la province de Kayanza (environ 90 km au nord de la capitale Bujumbura).
    "La population a découvert hier (dimanche) le corps d'un garçon albinos de huit à dix ans, qui a été tué et dont les bras et les jambes ont été coupés", a rapporté à l'AFP Geneviève Ntawiha, administrateur de la commune de Muruta.
    March 9, 2009
  9. Six-year-old albino boy slaughtered
    Last week, in neighbouring Burundi, assailants reportedly dismembered a six-year-old albino boy in his home in front of his parents, the eighth albino killing in that country.
    March 2, 2009
  10. Au Burundi, la traque des albinos
    The hunt for albinos in Burundi

    This article is only available in French.

    It relates of the plight of the albinos in Burundi where since September 2008 five albinos have been murdered for ritual purposes.

    Nicodème Gahimbare, in Ruyigi, in the east of the country, tells how seven bandits invaded the house, and while three of them threatened the family with their AK-47, four bandits dismembered the albinos of the family - alive - in a horrific scene. They started with the arms, then the legs, and finally the head.

    "Dans la région des Grands Lacs, on les appelle « les enfants du soleil » : ils portent chance. Leurs corps sont recherchés par les sorciers. Cinq meurtres ont été commis depuis septembre, dans d'effroyables conditions. Cette nuit-là, les machettes étaient aiguisées. « Sept bandits ont fait irruption dans la maison, raconte Nicodème Gahimbare, procureur de Ruyigi, province située à l'est du Burundi. Trois ont menacé la famille avec des kalachnikovs, pendant que les quatre autres découpaient l'albinos, qui était toujours vivant. Ils ont commencé par les bras puis ont tranché les jambes et enfin la tête. L'un d'entre eux recueillait le sang dans un bidon... puis, ils sont repartis en laisant dans la pièce ce qui restait du corps...

    Depuis septembre, les albinos du Burundi sont victimes d'une traque effroyable, sordide et insensée. Cinq meurtres, plus abominables les uns que les autres, ont déjà été commis. Hommes ou femmes, garcons ou fillettes, les albinos sont devenus bien malgré eux les cibles d'une marché fort lucratif."

    Accédez à l'intrégralité de cet article sur

    This link leads to the entire article (in French). December 22, 2008   
  11. 6-Year-Old Albino Girl Killed for Body Parts
    In Ruyigi province, Burundi, a 6-year-old girl, named Cizanye, was murdered in front of her family because she was an albino. A gang of armed bandits broke into the family home; they tied up the girl’s parents and shot the little girl in the head. They then cut off her head and both her arms and legs and left with the body parts. The attack took place at the family’s home in Bugongo, more than 200 kilometers (125 miles) east of the capital Bujumbura. Police said they suspected criminals of hunting albinos to sell their organs and limbs to witch doctors in Tanzania who use them for lucky charms.

    “This little girl is the third albino victim of such barbaric crimes in our province since September. We are doing everything we can to find the killers,” Ruyigi province prosecutor Nicodeme Gahimbare said.
    In the meantime, officials in eastern Burundi said that 24 albinos have fled their villages and gone into towns for fear of slaughter. Msembo said many albino children were dropping out of school for fear of being kidnapped. Many albinos have sought refuge in urban centers, which are relatively safer. She said “They are cutting us up like chickens” while pointing to a picture on a wall in her cramped office of a limbless body with the skin on its face peeled off from an incident in 2007.
    November 19, 2008
  12. A six-year-old albino girl in Burundi has been found dead with her head and limbs removed, in the latest killing linked to ritual medicine. The girl (...) was the sixth person with albinism to be killed in Burundi since September.
    November 17, 2008















© fpm van der kraaij