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Malawi Court sentences 12 people including Catholic Priest to death for killing albino

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A Malawian High Court has sentenced 12 people, including a Catholic Priest and a police officer, to death for the 2018 killing of a 22-year-old albino man.

The convicts which also included the victim’s brother, were found guilty by
Judge Dorothy NyaKaunda Kamanga, of kidnapping the deceased and killing him before selling his body parts to ritualists.

The conviction of the accused on Friday, according to Malawi officials, was just one out of many cases where more than 170 albinos have been attacked in the country since 2014 by people who believe their body parts bring luck and wealth.

Some of those convicted by Judge Kamanga were Rev. Father Thomas Muhosa, a Catholic priest, Chikondi Chileka, a police officer, Lumbani Kamanga, and the deceased’s brother, Cassim Masambuka, as well as eight others who bought the severed parts of the victim.

The charges against them included murder, extracting human tissues, causing harm to a person with disability, and trafficking in persons.

In sentencing the accused, the judge said the state had proven beyond reasonable doubt they had conspired to kill Masambuka to extract his bones based on a perception they would benefit financially.

She said Masambuka was a victim of violent attacks on persons with albinism who have not been adequately protected by the co6.

Masambuka went missing from his village on March 9, 2018, and his limbless body was found buried in a garden on April 2, 2018, in his home district of Machinga south of Malawi.

Court documents show that Masambuka was enticed by his iwn6 brother to meet his friends, who he claimed had found a girl for him to marry.

“But when they reached the scene, the alleged friends grabbed Masambuka by the neck and dragged him to a garden where they killed him. Here, his assailants cut off his limbs, burned his body using petrol and buried it there,” the court heard.

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Nigeria: Zamfara state government wants gun licenses for residents over insecurity

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The Commissioner for information in one of Nigeria’s Northern states, Zamfara state says residents in the state can start approaching the police command in the state for gun licences.

The troubled state wants individuals to carry guns to defend themselves against armed gangs of kidnappers causing havoc in the country’s northwest.

The commissioner, Ibrahim Magaji Dosara in statement said the state governor had directed the state police commissioner to issue 500 gun licences in each of the 19 emirates in the state to those wishing to defend themselves.

“Government is ready to facilitate people, especially our farmers to secure basic weapons for defending themselves,” Dosara said.

The state also banned the use of motorcyles and selling of petrol in three districts and one emirate, in areas which are the most affected by banditry, Dosara said. The state is divided into emirates and the emirates into districts.

“Anybody found riding motorbike within the areas is considered as bandits and security agencies are thereby directed to shoot such persons at sight,” said Dosara.

Gunmen, locally called bandits, have been attacking and killing thousands of people in the country’s North-west since 2017. These assailants have attacked rural dwellers, destroyed their farmlands and in many cases only allow them to the farm after they have paid protection fees. They have also targeted travellers across the region in what some analysts say is one of the most lucrative kidnap-for-ransom syndicates in the continent.

Owning a gun in Zamfara needs permission from the state governor and state police commissioner.

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Ex-Liberian rebel warlord charged in US over attempt to obtain citizenship fraudulently

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A former commanding general of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), a notorious rebel group during the West African country’s civil war, Moses Wright, who had sought asylum in the US has been charged with fraudulently attempting to obtain US citizenship, among other crimes.

According to the United States Justice Department, the 69-year-old Wright lied about his involvement in the persecuting and killing of non-combatants during the war when he applied for US citizenship.

If convicted, Wright faces a maximum possible sentence of 165 years in prison and a $7m (£5.7m) fine, according to the JD.

“The United States will not be a safe haven for human rights violators and war criminals,” the United States Attorney, Jacqueline C. Romero, said on the indictment of Wright.

The indictment of Wright comes after two other former combatants in Liberia’s civil war, Mohammed Jabbateh and Thomas Woewiyu, were convicted in the US for similar offences while a third rebel leader, Sekou Kamara, was arrested earlier this year in New York.

The AFL was responsible for death of an estimated 250,000 Liberians which amounted to around 8% of the population at the time, in the war which started from 1989 to 1997 and in 1999 to 2003, according to a report by the Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission in late 2021, which described the AFL as a “significant violator group found to be behind some of the civil war’s largest scale massacres.”

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