Amnesty condemns Mozambique’s ‘forgotten war’ after viral video

The conflict has gone on since 2017, killing 4,500 people, and forcing nearly a million to flee their homes.

Mozambican soldiers (R in green) and Rwanda policemen (L in blue) stand in the Cabo Delgado province of Mozambique
Mozambican soldiers, right, in green, and Rwanda policemen, left, in blue, stand in the Cabo Delgado province of Mozambique [File: Simon Wohlfahrt/ AFP]

A video showing soldiers hurling a corpse onto a pile of burning rubble in Mozambique’s north “gives a glimpse” of what is happening in a “forgotten war,” Amnesty International said.

The video, believed to date back to November, shows a soldier pouring liquid over the body as others, including one wearing a South African uniform, watch and film the scene on their mobile phones.

“Human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law are still occurring,” the rights watchdog said in a statement on Thursday.

An investigation has been opened by regional forces on the possible “involvement of its members in this despicable act”, the South African army announced on Tuesday.

The video “is another horrific event that gives a glimpse of what is going on away from the attention of international media in this forgotten war,” said Amnesty’s east and southern Africa director, Tigere Chagutah.

The crisis began in Cabo Delgado province in 2017, prompting the deployment of troops from Rwanda and neighbouring countries in mid-2021 to help Mozambique’s embattled army.

The conflict has led to the death of more than 4,500 people, while nearly a million have fled their homes, according to NGOs and the United Nations.

The government has regained control over much of the region since thousands of African troops were deployed in 2021.

But “security in Cabo Delgado must not come at the cost of human rights violations”, Chagutah warned.

Source: News Agencies