The United Nations Secretary-General has called on the authorities in Mozambique to investigate the brutal killings that were reported this past weekend in the country’s northern Cabo Delgado province and to bring the perpetrators to justice.
There were reports of massacres by non-State armed groups in several villages, including beheading attacks. According to media reports, an armed militant group attacked several villages in northern parts of the province from November 6 to 8, brutally killing more than 50 people, abducting several women and children and burning down homes.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres urges the country’s authorities to conduct an investigation into these incidents, and to hold those responsible to account. He calls on all parties to the conflict to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law.
The UN chief also reiterated the commitment of the Organization to continue to support the people and Government of Mozambique in urgently addressing immediate humanitarian needs and efforts to uphold human rights, promote development and prevent the spread of violent extremism.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the humanitarian situation in Cabo Delgado province deteriorated in 2020, on the back of an escalating conflict, compounded by a fragile situation of chronic underdevelopment, consecutive climatic shocks and recurrent disease outbreaks.
An increasing number of attacks by non-State armed groups, particularly impacting the northern and eastern districts of the province, have driven massive and multiple displacements, disrupting people’s livelihoods and access to basic services.
More than 355,000 people are estimated to be internally displaced in Cabo Delgado, and its neighboring Nampula and Niassa provinces, as of the end of October 2020, with numbers said to be rising by the day. Many more are facing severe hunger.