International Amnesty: Cabo Delgado lives a “guerrilla war” against human rights
The executive director of the Portuguese section of Amnesty International (AI), Pedro Neto, said today that the Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado is experiencing a “guerrilla war”, with a escalation of human rights violations by the two parties in conflict.
“It is the situation of a guerrilla war. It does not obey any law and there have been many violations of human rights, either by the guerrillas, or by the defense forces, the military, ”said Pedro Neto.
Among the most recent examples pointed out by Pedro Neto is a video showing a woman being persecuted, tortured and killed by men in uniforms of the Armed Forces for the Defense of Mozambique, a situation denounced by the AI section for East Africa and Southern Africa, who asked the Mozambican government for an independent investigation into the facts.
There are also previous videos and photographs, also analyzed and published by AI, that “show attempts at beheading, torture and other ill-treatment of detainees, dismemberment of alleged combatants, possible extrajudicial executions and the transport of a large number of corpses to mass graves. ”.
“What we ask the Mozambican government to do is not to ‘kick the ball into the corner’, to do a serious and independent investigation because they have responsibilities”, he stressed.
On the other hand, Pedro Neto denounced the speech of the Mozambican authorities, who have attributed the events to the “terrorists”, accusing them of dressing up in the military to make them believe that the atrocities have been committed by the armed forces.
“This is not enough. It is necessary to understand if this is true and if it is true how the alleged terrorists got the complete military uniforms even with the badges ”, he said.
“There are descriptions of a lot of violence on both sides against the population, who feel unprotected. There is work to be done by the Armed and Defense Forces of Mozambique, the international community must also support and the Mozambican Government must be realistic and ask for this help because this situation has been going on for a long time, ”he added.
Pedro Neto pointed out, on the other hand, the harassment of the population, journalists and civil society organizations, including AI itself, which saw one of its investigators arrested and has been the target, according to the official, of attempts to discredit people on social networks .
Regarding the perpetrators of the attacks in Cabo Delgado, who call themselves Al Shabab, the executive director of the Portuguese section of AI stressed the uncertainties regarding his direct links with a group with the same name that operates further north, in the region of Somalia, or the self-styled Islamic State, which has claimed some attacks.
The situation “is very unstable”, stressed Pedro Neto, revealing that during the night the populations are forced to sleep in the bush for fear that the villages will be attacked, and that over time there will be an escalation of violence and violence. human rights violations.
Cabo Delgado has faced attacks by armed groups for three years that have already killed more than 1,000 people and 250,000 internally displaced persons.
This article is available in: Português