Commonwealth “deeply shocked” by recent reports of massacres in northern Mozambique
By Jorge Joaquim
The Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland, said is “deeply shocked” by recent reports of massacres by armed groups in several villages in Cabo Delgado province in northern Mozambique, where Up to 2,000 people have been killed and about 430,000 have been left homeless.
Several people have been beheaded and others shot dead in Muidumbe district, homes have been burned and other private and public infrastructure destroyed, including the district government headquarters. The new wave of attacks began on 30 October.
“I am deeply shocked and saddened by recent reports of massacres by armed groups in several villages in Cabo Delgado province in northern Mozambique,” said Scotland in a press release seen by Pan African Visions. “I condemn these abhorrent and brutal attacks on innocent civilians and urge that an investigation be undertaken and those responsible held to account.”
During the first two days of the attack on Muidumbe district, reports from those who managed to flee indicated that the terrorists had reached the district headquarters and the villages Magaia, 24 de Março, Muambula, Namacande (the district headquarters), N’Chinga, Namacule and Muatide. After the first seven villages, the group attacked two other villages over the past week, namely Nampanha and Lutete.
“These attacks and reports of the kidnapping of women, young people and children are an affront to the fundamental principles of human rights and to our shared humanity. The Commonwealth and all our member states stand in solidarity with those affected and their families.”
This week, a national network of local radio stations, Forcom, reported that a group of nine community radio journalists from Muidumbe said that they were dying of hunger and thirst in hiding in the woods for the last 10 days. There are also reports that a local football field in Muatide has been transformed by terrorists into a “beheading field” for people who are persecuted and captured in the bush.
Scotland said that the Commonwealth stands ready to provide any support they can to the people and Government of Mozambique “as they strive to uphold Commonwealth values of respect for human rights while also combating such hateful incidents of violent extremism.”