“Mozambican and Tanzanian police signed a memorandum of understanding yesterday in Dar-Es-Salsam that provides for mutual assistance in combating cross-border crime and terrorism, as well as their various forms of financing.
Under the terms of the memorandum, the two police forces foresee combined response to incursions by terrorist groups. The Police (PRM) and other Defence and Security Forces of the Republic of Mozambique will be assisted by the Tanzanian Police Force through exchange of information, simultaneous joint operations, technical assistance and institutional development, with a view to addressing pockets of insecurity.
According to the terms of the agreement, the parties will cooperate in the fight against crimes related to natural resources, drugs, psychotropic substances and chemicals [used in the illicit manufacture of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances] economic and financial crimes and corruption.
The Mozambican and Tanzanian police also agreed to work together to combat fraud; counterfeiting and forgery of currency, goods and products; theft; and the smuggling of means of transport.
Combating the theft and smuggling of weapons, ammunition and explosives, theft of radioactive, nuclear, bacterial, biological or chemical materials, as well as theft using firearms are also included in the memorandum as the focus of joint action.
According to the document, the PRM and its counterpart in Tanzania undertake to do everything possible to combat trafficking in human beings, illegal migration, theft and smuggling of materials of historical, cultural and artistic value, cyber crime, smuggling or trade of illicit assets and the theft of hospital and cattle medicines.
Commander-in-Chief of the Police of the Republic of Mozambique, Bernardino Rafael, said that, as well as fighting terrorism, Mozambique would utilise cooperation with Tanzania to gain experience in stopping the trafficking of people with albinism and baldness, phenomena that have been occurring in Mozambique lately.”
““Albinos don’t die—they only disappear.”
This phrase has never made as much sense as it does now. Some say it is the fault of local healers or the organ trafficking mafia. But the truth is that the lack of information is the main culprit of the crimes. People believe in the prophecy that says that if you have a piece of an albino (usually their hands, feet or head), you’ll have luck or money in life.
Since the end of 2014, the albinos of Mozambique and Malawi have suffered kidnappings, murders, vandalized graves and a lot of discrimination. It all started in the country that borders the two countries: Tanzania. There it is known that people with albinism have suffered greatly. Soon after, cases started in Mozambique and Malawi. The Tanzanian government has conducted outreach operations that helped reduce the problems, but on the other hand, they increased the persecution of albinos in neighboring countries.
In one of the local languages, albinos are outright called “money,” or “bolada.” In Mozambique, dozens of cases have been reported in the last two years, and the problems have progressed all over the country. In Malawi, there have already been more than 100 cases reported since January 2015. The country has about 4,000 albinos. Mozambique has one albino for every 16,000 inhabitants and has reported about 50 cases.
Official data provided by the government indicates that since 2015, some 47 albinos have been the targets of attacks in Mozambique. Governments in these countries have undertaken public service campaigns to inform the public that albino body parts have no special or medicinal properties. And law enforcement has tried to be extra sensitive towards the issue. Even so, the road to change is a long one.”
“Police in Mozambique has warned that bald people could be the targets of ritual attacks, after the brutal killing of two men whose body parts were thought to have been used in witchcraft.
The two bald men, one of whom was found with his head cut off and organs removed, were killed in a part of the country already notorious for the persecution of albinos.
“Last month, the murders of two bald people led to the arrest of two suspects,” said the national police spokesman Inacio Dina.
“Their motivations come from superstition and culture: the local community thinks bald individuals are rich,” he said.
The killings took place in Milange, in the centre of the southern African country, a few miles from the border with Malawi. The local police told AFP that the two victims were aged over 40.
“One of them was found with his head cut off and his organs removed,” said Miguel Caetano, a spokesman for the security forces in the central province of Zambezia.
The suspects arrested are two Mozambicans about 20 years old. According to their statements, the organs were to be used by healers in rituals to promote the fortunes of clients in Tanzania and Malawi, Caetano said. It was the first time that bald people have been victims of such attacks in the region, he added.
Dina likened the attacks to those on albinos, whose body parts are used in witchcraft rituals.
According to the UN, more than a hundred attacks against albinos – who have white skin because of a hereditary condition that causes an absence of pigmentation – have been registered in Mozambique since 2014, mainly in the centre and the north of the country.”