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Malawi arrests 140 in clampdown after ‘vampirism’ killings

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Police in Malawi said they arrested 140 suspected members of vigilante mobs that have targeted people accused of vampirism, clamping down after a wave of attacks that have killed at least nine.

The lynch mob attacks began in mid-September in four districts in southern Malawi, where belief in witchcraft is widespread.

This week they spread to Blantyre, the country’s second-biggest city, where mobs torched one person and stoned another to death on Wednesday.

“We have so far arrested 140 people we suspect are behind the mob killings in Blantyre and other districts and the investigations are still going on,” Lexon Kachama, inspector general of Malawi Police, told reporters.

Police were doing everything possible to contain the situation and ensure the violence did not spread to other cities and townships, he said.

President Peter Mutharika has also been visiting parts of the country affected by the violence.

The United Nations and U.S. embassy have blacklisted several districts in Malawi as dangerous zones for staffers and nationals. Earlier this month the U.N. pulled staff out of two areas in southern Malawi.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Groups criticise Kenya’s census figures

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Groups has criticised the released Kenya’s population census figures stating that the results are not accurate.

It found that the total population of the country is now 47.6 million, nine million more than in 2009.

But some regions have experienced a decrease in population.

These outcomes can be hugely controversial because the size of the local population has important implications for the level of government funding they receive.

Kenya’s population is made up of many different ethnic groups, closely aligned to competing political parties.

The government has yet to release all the data on the ethnic composition of the country, but the changes in population in certain regions from this latest census have already caused arguments.

The outcome of such surveys can embolden or weaken claims made by groups for political representation or resources.

In one area of the north-east territories bordering Ethiopia and Somalia, the census indicates a decrease in the population, prompting local political leaders looking to retain funding for their provinces to question the veracity of the survey

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