Mozambique war crimes

Recent investigations uncover worrying activities from both sides of Mozambique’s ongoing conflict

Photo by AFP.

— 1 minute read — by Sam Feierabend

An investigation led by Save the Children found that ISIS-linked militants in Mozambique have beheaded children as young as 11, as well as killing up to 2,500 people.

Since 2017, the East African nation has struggled with an insurgency led by Islamist extremists who aim to create an ‘Islamic State’ in the north of the country. Violence has crippled the Cabo Delgado Province, with an estimated 580,000 people fleeing the region in 2020 alone; Amnesty International claim that war crimes have been committed on both sides of the conflict.

Government forces have been accused of raping and beating women in the vicinity of army bases, whilst jihadists allegedly committed heinous crimes with machetes, including multiple beheadings.

Save the Children spoke to families affected by the conflict and are horrified at their findings. The director for Mozambique, Chance Briggs, states that “while the world was focused on COVID-19, the Cabo Delgado crisis ballooned but has been grossly overlooked. Humanitarian aid is desperately required, but not enough donors have prioritised assistance for those who have lost everything, even their children.”  

With previous attempts by Islamist militant groups to set up an ‘Islamic State’ seen in Syria and Iraq, politically fragile nations can be susceptible to insurgent movements which need to be closely monitored. The UN condemned actions in the country and will continue to monitor the situation.