Amnesty urges Mozambique to end brutal killings by insurgents

Friday June 8 2018

Mozambican military, Mozambique.

Mozambican military police patrol the streets in central Mozambique in 2013. Amnesty International has urged Mozambique to take immediate measures to end the killings in the Cabo Delgado Province. FILE PHOTO | REUTERS 

By ARNALDO VIEIRA
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Amnesty International has urged Mozambique to put to an end the brutal killings of civilians in the country’s north.

According to the rights group, at least 37 people have been murdered in Cabo Delgado Province by suspected radical Islamists, known locally as "al-Shabaab", in the past two weeks.

“The Mozambican authorities must take immediate and effective action to end the killings including by reinforcing security measures to protect the lives of villagers in the region," Amnesty said, adding that the government should carry out "investigations into all the recent attacks with the aim of bringing suspected perpetrators to account.”

The latest attack took place on Wednesday night in Namaculo village, Quissanga district of Cabo Delgado, where at least 10 people were killed by jihadists wielding knives and machetes and houses were torched, Amnesty said.

Last week, Mozambican police killed nine suspected ‘Al-Shabaab’ members in a counteroffensive attack in Palma district, where the group had beheaded 10 people in another settlement on May 27.

The northern region has experienced deadly attacks since last October with coordinated and simultaneous attacks on government institutions including police stations.

The group has no known link to the Somalia-based Al Shabaab jihadist group.

Mozambique's Cabo Delgado Province boasts of minerals such as natural gas, precious stone aquamarines, tourmalines, blue topaz and green tourmalines.

The region is expected to become the centre of a natural gas industry after recent discoveries.

It had been abandoned on the economic growth front for the last two decades.