The United Nations on Friday called for urgent measures to protect civilians in Mozambique’s northern Cabo Delgado province, who have fallen victim to an Islamist rebellion, reported UN News.
Armed groups attacked villages killed several people and forced thousands to flee their homes in the Cabo Delgado province earlier this week. As per reports, more than 50 civilians were beheaded in Northern Mozambique’s Cado Delgado province, including the abduction and kidnapping of women and children. The killing of civilians and clashes with security forces in the province have increased in recent weeks.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachele said the situation is now desperate.
“The situation is desperate both for those trapped in conflict-affected areas, with barely any means of surviving, and for those displaced across the province and beyond,” Bachele said. “Those who remain have been left deprived of basic necessities and are at risk of being killed, sexually assaulted, abused, kidnapped, or forcibly recruited by armed groups.”
The UN sees the human rights situation increasingly alarming in Mozambique. Since 2017, more than 2,000 people have been killed and at least 355,000 people have fled the gas and mineral rich province.
The UN rights chief said urged all parties to take urgent measures to protect civilians. She said that it is very important that the state authorities ensure the protection of civilians inside and outside the conflict-affected areas. She called out humanitarian agencies to provide unhindered access to deliver life-saving assistance and protection.
The UNHCR has appealed for $19.2 million to help meet the most basic requirements of the people of Mozambique.
“This is particularly crucial given the risk of cholera and the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Bachele said.
The UN has also called on Mozambique authorities to throw light on accusations of human rights violations against their security forces in recent years, including extrajudicial executions and ill-treatment.