The United Nations strongly condemns the recent attack on Tafwauli Ngona, a 92-year-old woman living with albinism in Mzimba, during which two of her toes were amputated.
In a statement issued in Lilongwe, on 24th February, 2020, the UN commends the Malawi Police Service for its swift investigation into this case that led to the arrest of three suspects.
“In the lead-up to the elections in Malawi last year, we saw a spike in the number of attacks and killings against Malawians with albinism – attacks that stem from root causes such as the negative mystification of albinism, stigma, poverty and harmful practices,” Ms. Maria Jose Torres, United Nations Resident Coordinator for Malawi says.
Torres says, as political contestations heighten after the Constitutional Court decision, this attack raises concerns for the safety of persons living with albinism.
“The UN calls on the Government to ensure adequate financial resources to fully implement the National Action Plan on Persons with Albinism,” Torres says.
UN Resolution A/RES/72/140 on Persons with Albinism, adopted unanimously by the UN General Assembly on 19th December 2017, refers to the need to address the root causes of discrimination and violence against persons with albinism through ongoing awareness-raising and social behaviour change campaigns.
Torres says, in addition, an effective justice system is required to hold perpetrators of these crimes accountable.
According to Torres, the United Nations Country Team in Malawi stands ready to provide any technical advice necessary to achieve these goals.