Africa

Amnesty blames Mozambique for armed attacks

For nearly three years, armed groups have been attacking villagers around Cabo Delgado with impunity, says rights group

24.03.2020
Amnesty blames Mozambique for armed attacks

ANKARA

Rights group Amnesty International blamed Mozambican authorities Monday for the “tragic failure” to protect civilians in a volatile area of northern Cabo Delgado province amid reported attacks by an armed group.

“This violent escalation in Mocimboa da Praia is the culmination of a tragic failure by the Mozambican government to protect the people in this volatile area,” Muleya Mwananyanda, Amnesty International’s deputy director for East and Southern Africa, said in a statement in response to a fresh attack earlier in the day on the town of Mocimboa da Praia by members of an armed group locally known as Al-Shabaab, who have since taken over the town.

“For almost three years, armed groups have been attacking villagers around Cabo Delgado, causing untold human suffering without being held accountable,” he added.

He noted that the continued attacks are compounded by the Mozambican government’s prohibiting of journalists, researchers and foreign observers from accessing the area to assess the situation.

Mwananyanda called on Mozambique’s authorities to immediately and effectively take action in order to “protect everyone in the region, including by ramping up lawful security measures and carrying out investigations into all the recent attacks with the aim of bringing suspected perpetrators to justice.”

Since 2017, killings of civilians by armed groups have been reported in Cabo Delgado, leaving around 350 people dead and more than 150,000 others affected by the violence, according to the U.S.-based NGO.

It was not possible for Anadolu Agency to get immediate comment from Mozambique’s authorities on the statement.

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