Witnesses of Mozambican Mass Grave Urged to Come Forward

Fredrick Ngugi June 06, 2016
Suspected RENAMO rebels in Mozambique. Scoopnest.com

Government leaders have asked any Mozambican or foreigner with knowledge of the alleged mass grave in Canda, Mozambique, to please come forward and share the information with relevant authorities.

Speaking to Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique (AIM) on Thursday, the chairman of the Commission on Constitution and Legal Affairs and Human Rights of Mozambique Mr. Edson Macuacua requested members of the public to volunteer information that can help in the ongoing investigations.

The commission has already undertaken investigations following a damning report published by Lusa News Agency on April 28, alleging the existence of the mass grave. The news agency quoted anonymous sources, most of them local peasants, who claimed to have knowledge of the mass grave at Canda, in the Sofala Province of Central Mozambique.

Since investigations commenced, the commission has so far interrogated a number of witnesses including the journalist who wrote the exposé and a few locals in the area of the supposed mass grave.

 “This was our way of establishing the facts, and it leads us to state absolutely that there is no mass grave in Gorongosa. The question posed now: Where did this information come from and who are these peasants cited by Lusa?” Macuacua told AIM.

Earlier Claims of Mass Grave

According to Relief Web, residents of Canda interviewed by Deutsche Welle and Lusa News Agency on April 27 claimed that they discovered the grave following a strong stench of decomposing bodies.

The humanitarian organization further claims that journalists from the two media houses visited the area and found at least 15 bodies in a bush with signs of violence – some even had their hands tied.

Mass Grave in Mozambique 1

Bodies found in a bush near the alleged mass grave in Canda, Mozambique. France24.com

However, security agents manning the area denied journalists access to the mass grave seen by the locals, according to Deutsche Welle.

Extrajudicial Killings

While Mozambican authorities have consistently denied the existence of a mass grave in Central Mozambique, many fear that Mozambique could be headed for another civil war.

According to Foreign Policy, state security agents in Mozambique are killing civilians, most of whom are suspected to be affiliated to RENAMO, a rebel group that has been at loggerheads with the country’s ruling party FRELIMO since the last civil war in 1992.

Over 12,000 Mozambicans have fled to neighboring Malawi in fear for their lives. Most of them accuse government forces of burning their villages, sexual abuse and summary executions, Foreign Policy reports.

Many have also accused the Mozambican government of using state-owned media to propagate a diversionary narrative blaming RENAMO rebels for the current conflict in Northwest and Central Mozambique.

Last Edited by:Deidre Gantt Updated: June 6, 2016


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