Amnesty International on Monday called on President Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique to protect Cabo Delgado residents following an early morning attack, even as the rest of the world battled a global coronavirus pandemic.
The attack on the town of Mocimboa da Praia in Cabo Delgado was carried out by members of an armed group locally known as Al-Shabaab who have since taken over the town, Amnesty said.
“This violent escalation in Mocimboa da Praia is the culmination of a tragic failure by the Mozambican government to protect the people in this volatile area,” said Muleya Mwananyanda, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East and Southern Africa.
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“For almost three years, armed groups have been attacking villagers around Cabo Delgado, causing untold human suffering without being held accountable.
“These continued attacks are compounded by the fact that the Mozambican government is prohibiting journalists, researchers and foreign observers from accessing the area to assess the situation.
“Authorities must take immediate and effective action to protect everyone in the region, including by ramping up lawful security measures, and carrying out investigations into all the recent attacks with the aim of bringing suspected perpetrators to justice,” Mwananyanda added.