The state-owned Mozambican Television said in a report that the team involves the Deputy Ministers of Justice and Constitutional and Religious Affairs, Joaquim Verissimo, and Jose Coimbra of Interior, who will travel to the Nkondezi region, where the refugees fled since last December.

The ministers will be accompanied by top officials from the National Directorate of Human Rights and the Ministries of the State Administration and Public Service to investigate the human rights violation reports in the area.

Since last December, over 7,000 people have crossed the border seeking asylum in Malawi, from Mozambique’s coal-rich Tete Province, following clashes between the Frelimo-led government forces and gunmen from Renamo.

Last month, some international human rights organizations reported that refugees claimed that they fled army abuses including summary execution of husbands and other villagers, and fear returning home.

According to the refugees, the government’s security forces committed the atrocities not only in Nkondezi and Moaize, but also in Tsangano district, when they were hunting armed Renamo men to disarm them by force.

Verissimo was quoted from the television report as saying that, the government has a report produced from local and foreign media reports, as well as information from the human rights organisation, revealing that the security forces violated human rights, including summary executions of suspected Renamo members, sexual abuse, assassinations of community leaders and kidnapping.

The accusations also included physical harassment, torching homes and warehouses of the people in the two regions.

According to Verissimo, the government’s team will be talking to people, public entities, religious leaders, the civil society, as well as visiting the two regions.

They will also travel to Malawi to talk to the refugees who are accommodated at Kapise camp in Mwanza district. The camp was visited by the country’s Foreign Minister Oldemiro Baloi last month.

On Thursday, the team met with the Tete governor, Paulo Awade and the region’s security commands linked to Moatize and Tsangano districts where the atrocities were committed.

Verissimo said that the situation is calm now, and that the movement on the frontier with Malawi is going smoothly,adding that the government is creating conditions for the refugees to return.

Tensions have been running high between the country’s old civil war foes, the ruling party Frelimo and the opposition Renamo, since Frelimo won elections in October 2014.

Renamo refused to approve the results, accusing the ruling party of rigging and fraud during the elections, an accusation rejected by the Maputo administration.

The talks which started in 2013 between the two sides collapsed last year, and newly clashes reported continuously this year from the central part of the country.

Renamo wants to govern the six provinces in the central and north where it had more votes in the 2014 general polls. But the government says the constitution does allow that. Enditem

Source: Xinhua


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