The viral video showing soldiers throwing corpses on a pile of burning household objects in northern Mozambique just gives “a glimpse of what is happening far” from the eyes in this “forgotten war”, denounced Thursday Amnesty.
This is the “latest evidence of the atrocities committed” in the province of Cabo Delgado, struggling with violence by armed jihadist groups for more than five years and where the Mozambican army has been supported since 2021 by Rwandan soldiers and neighboring countries, the NGO said in a statement.
An investigation has been opened by the regional forces deployed in Mozambique and “the culprits will be brought to justice”, announced the South African army.
Images widely shared since Tuesday, and believed to be from November, show men in military uniform throwing corpses into a fire where at least one other body is already burning. One pours liquid over the remains. Others, including a soldier with South African insignia, watch and film the scene on a mobile phone.
These images give “a glimpse of what is happening far from the attention of the international media in this forgotten war” in Cabo Delgado, a poor province bordering Tanzania, denounces Tigere Chagutah, director of Amnesty for southern Africa.
Very few international journalists are allowed to work in Mozambique and the conflict zone is difficult to access.
“Tragically, violence against civilians, extrajudicial executions and other human rights violations […] continue to occur” in the region, Chagutah added.
The cremation of these bodies “is deplorable and is likely a violation of international humanitarian law, which prohibits the mutilation of corpses and requires that the dead be treated respectfully,” added Mr. Chagutah.
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