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The assumption of the nature of the armed attacks that devastate the northern region of Mozambique will allow the state to adopt appropriate measures to combat the phenomenon, said the Mozambican Bar Association Chairman in Maputo yesterday. [File photo: Lusa]
The Mozambique Bar Association (OAM) chairman on Tuesday argued that the Mozambican state should acknowledge that the north of the country is being targeted by terrorism and that human rights violations are taking place.
“Given the definitions of international instruments that Mozambique is a party to and the national legislation on the matter, we are facing terrorism,” said Flávio Menete, chairman of the OAM, speaking to Lusa on the sidelines of the official opening ceremony of the 2020 judicial year in Maputo.
Flávio Menete said that the assumption of the nature of the armed attacks that devastate the northern region of Mozambique will allow the state to adopt appropriate measures to combat the phenomenon.
“We should acknowledge that we are facing terrorism and take adequate measures to face terrorism,” he said.
The situation in Cabo Delgado, he added, is encouraging human rights’ abuses.
“The images we have been seeing are shocking, they show that human rights are being violated,” he said.
Even in the face of the inaccessibility of the areas affected by the action of armed groups in northern Mozambique, due to restrictions imposed by the authorities, several reports have denounced the record of human rights abuses committed by defence and security forces and armed groups.
On Monday, Mozambique’s president, Filipe Nyusi, said that there should be persecution of the perpetrators of armed attacks in the north and centre of the country, during a speech alluding to the Mozambican Heroes Day holiday.
“We are for dialogue but those who kill Mozambicans, we will continue to persecute them in every corner of our country to hold them accountable for the crimes they commit against the Mozambican state,” he said.
Armed attacks erupted in 2017 in Cabo Delgado province led by mosque attendants considered radicalised by foreigners, according to local Islamic leaders, who had already warned of increasing friction.
There has never been a claim to authorship of the attacks, except for communiques from the jihadist Islamic State group, which since June has been calling some of them, with alleged photos of the actions, but whose presence on the ground experts and authorities consider unreliable.
The attacks have already caused between 350 and 400 deaths among aggressors, residents and the Mozambican military, as well as leaving some 60,000 people affected or forced to leave their lands and places of residence, according to the latest review of the United Nations’ global humanitarian aid plan for Mozambique.
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