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Conflict in Mozambique: UN Chief calls on authorities to investigate brutal killings in Cabo Delgado

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has urged the authorities in Mozambique to investigate brutal killings in the country’s northern Cabo Delgado province and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Mr Guterres said he was shocked to learn of the massacres by non-State armed groups in several villages, including reported mass-beheadings, and kidnapping of women and children.

In the past there have also been instances where the UN body has also been accused of crimes that go unanswered. We wrote about it here>>.

“He strongly condemns this wanton brutality,” his spokesperson said in a statement.

“The Secretary-General 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.”

According to media reports, an armed militant group attacked several villages in northern parts of the province between 6th and 8th November, brutally killing more than 50 people, abducting several women and children and burning down homes.

By the end of October 2020, at least 355,000 people were internally displaced in Cabo Delgado, and its neighbouring Nampula and Niassa provinces. The numbers are said to be rising by the day.

According to the UN report, violence, displacements and consequent loss of livelihoods are also increasing food insecurity in Cabo Delgado: over 710,000 people are facing severe hunger, including displaced persons and host communities.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab tweeted: “The UK is appalled by reports of the beheading of dozens of civilians in Cabo Delgado province. This is part of a pattern of escalating attacks in north-east Mozambique. We remain in close contact with the Mozambican authorities to tackle the root causes of conflict.”