Following reports of blood-sucking vampires and homicidal mobs, the UN has pulled its staff from areas in the African nation of Malawi.
Reuters reports that the United Nations staff has been pulled from two districts in Malawi after the lynch mob killings of five men accused of being vampires. Malawi is one of the poorest nations in the world, and the belief in witchcraft and magic is widespread in the nation.
Earlier this year, rumors about vampires began to emerge in the neighboring nation of Mozambique, before spreading to Phalombe and Mulanje, two districts in Malawi that border their southern neighbor. In these districts, these rumors quickly turned violent, with vigilante mobs killing at least five people they suspected of drinking human blood as part of magic rituals.
Mobs in these districts have even begun setting roadblocks in the area to hunt down ‘vampires.’
It is from these two districts that the UN pulled their staff in response to these attacks.
The UN Department on Safety and Security (UNDSS), said in a report that, “These districts have severely been affected by the ongoing stories of blood sucking and possible existence of vampires.”
The report recommended a “temporary suspension of U.N. activities in the area until the situation is normalized.”
The Malawi government is also responding to the violence in their nation from these witch-hunting mobs, with the office of the President releasing a statement saying, “This development has been of grave concern to the President and the entire Government.”
Malawi President Peter Mutharika said the reports of vigilante violence were “distressing and agonizing.”
A night-time curfew has been instituted as well, restricting citizens’ movements between 17:00 and 07:00 local time.
This is not the first time that vigilante violence has erupted in Malawi in response to rumors about witches or vampires. In 2002, numerous people were killed by mobs in the southern districts of Malawi following rumors of vampires.
Until greater educational standards are imposed in the nation, it seems unlikely that these rumors, and the violence they cause, will come to an end anytime soon.