Mozambique anti-jihadist forces involved in rights abuses: HRW.


Security forces in Mozambique waging the fight against jihadists in the country’s north are guilty of “serious abuses” of human rights including summary executions, Human Rights Watch said on Tuesday.
The group said that witness statements gathered since August proved police had carried out dozens of executions and arbitrarily detained people suspected of participating in the insurgency that has claimed dozens of lives.
“The Mozambican authorities should take immediate action to end abuses by their security forces and punish those responsible,” said Dewa Mavhinga, Southern Africa director at Human Rights Watch.
Jihadist fighters have terrorised remote communities in the gas-rich and Muslim-majority Cabo Delgado region for more than a year, staging brazen gun and knife attacks on civilians.
Officials refuse to publish a death toll but according to local and media estimates, more than a hundred civilians have been killed in the clashes and thousands have fled the area.
Twelve people are understood to have died just over a week ago in an attack blamed on jihadists that targeted a village close to the Tanzanian border.
Analysts say the nascent insurgency staged its first attack in October 2017 hitting a police station and military outpost in the northern town of Mocimboa da Praia, killing two officers.
Originally known as Ahlu Sunnah Wa-Jama – Arabic for “followers of the prophet” – the group is commonly referred to by locals and officials as “Al-Shabaab,” although it has no known link to the Somali jihadist group of the same name.

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