The president of Malawi is calling for stronger efforts to catch and punish those behind a series of albino killings.
In his state of the nation address Thursday, President Peter Mutharika described the attacks as barbaric and ordered security agencies to intensify a manhunt for the killers.
"I’ve directed the minister of internal affairs and all security agencies to be on high alert and arrest all people responsible for attacks, abductions and killings. I’ve further directed the minister, inspector general [of police] and all security agencies to provide maximum protection to our brothers and sisters with albinism," he said.
Enipher Foster of Chiradzulu district says the kidnappings has forced her to carry her granddaughter whereever she goes. (Lameck Masina for VOA News)
The president also called on the judiciary to conduct speedy trials of suspects in the attacks.
Fifteen albinos have been reported abducted and killed in Malawi since the start of the year.
Albinism is a condition where people are born with little or no pigment in their skin and hair. People with the condition tend to stand out in Africa, and are sometimes targeted by witch doctors who use their body parts in so-called magic potions.
Mutharika's comments came a day after the Catholic church in Malawi accused him of taking a "passive approach" on the problems faced by people with albinism.