sábado, 4 de junho de 2016

Death stalks Gorongosa

AFP | 03 Junho, 2016 08:06
HELL RUN: Street vendors are seen through a bullet hole in a bus windscreen alongside the Mozambican Main North South road at Nhamapaza in Gorongosa, where convoys are escorted by the army after increased skirmishes between Frelimo troops and Renamo forces.

Decomposing corpses in the bush, destroyed villages, abductions - in the central Mozambican district of Gorongosa clashes between the army and rebels have revived the spectre of a civil war that ended 24 years ago.

"It has been two months since I have found these bodies and no one has come to remove them," Donca Sabir, a local farmer, said as he contemplated human remains barely hidden among shrubs on his land.
Wearing scraps of civilian clothes, the nine skeletal corpses lie just 100m from Mozambique's main north-south road.
A little further down the road, local authorities said they recently buried 11 other corpses.
Villagers had also earlier reported an unconfirmed mass grave that could contain more than 100 corpses.
"The Mozambican government must tell us who are these people, how they died and who left their bodies there," Zenaida Machado, Mozambique researcher for Human Rights Watch, said.
"It is extremely worrying that instead of taking these reports seriously, the first action of the authorities is to deny them."
Ivone Soares, head of the Renamo party in parliament, alleges that Frelimo, the ruling party in power since 1975, has implemented a campaign to eliminate all opposition.
"Death squads terrorise those who criticise the regime. People are abducted and murdered in their homes," she said.
Frelimo and Renamo fought a bloody civil war between 1976 and 1992 that claimed one million lives.
Since 2013, tensions have risen and Renamo fighters have again taken up arms in a battle that it says is against a Frelimo elite that has enriched itself at the expense of the country.
Attacks intensified from late last year, forcing thousands of refugees to flee to Malawi.
About 30km east of Gorongosa, on the small dirt track, 10 armoured army trucks patrol outside the deserted village of Vunduzi, a Renamo stronghold.
On the side of the road, Joaquim Assais is visibly upset as he contemplates the fate of his village.
"My father was sitting there when the army arrived. They tied him, beat him up and burnt down the houses," said Assais.
"Both sides are killing innocent people," said Daviz Simango, the mayor of Beira, the main city in the central region.

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