MAPUTO (Reuters) – The Mozambique military has condemned the apparent execution of a naked woman by men wearing military uniforms, shown in video footage where she is beaten with a stick before being shot from behind as she tries to flee .
In the footage, aired on Monday, the group refers to the woman as ‘al-Shabaab’ – a local term for an Islamic rebel group that has been operating in the north of the country since 2017.
One of the uniformed men shot him and shot him in the head and body before shooting the others. They say in the video, kill him on the side of the road.
It was filmed in the northernmost province of Cabo Delgado, where soldiers are fighting an Islamic insurgency.
Reuters was able to verify the location of the video by comparing the locations seen in satellite imagery taken in June 2020. These include three trees side-by-side, posts in the ground, a driveway and two white buildings, one with a blue roof.
Reuters was not able to independently verify the date of the footage, or who the perpetrators were. Amnesty International said it was shot on September 7, citing sources.
The Mozambican military, engaged in fighting with rebels in the province, which is also home to gas projects being developed by oil majors overall, said it is shocking and horrific the images, and “above all Is condemnable “.
“The feds (defense and security forces) have reiterated that they do not agree with any barbaric act that confirms human rights violations,” it said in a statement, asking for an investigation into the video’s authenticity .
It did not specifically deny that government troops were responsible.
Following the surge in insurgency, which took over the port city of Mosimbo da Pria in August, and the reaction, reports and beatings of security forces or videos of other army abuses have become increasingly common.
Amnesty International said that most of the men, who shot the woman 36 times, were wearing full Mozambique army uniforms.
It quoted a local military source as saying that they killed him because he had cast a spell on the army, and refused to show them the whereabouts of the rebels.
Last week, the rights group said it had verified videos showing alleged beatings, atrocities, dissolution of alleged opposition fighters and possible extrajudicial killings.
The government dismissed the allegations, saying that the rebels regularly engaged soldiers.
Human Rights Watch researcher Zinaida Machado called for an investigation and said that if the soldiers did so, there would be distrust in the population and the rebels would gain strength.
He said that fearful people should not flee from the rebels to keep themselves safe, so that they could keep them safe.
Reporting by Manuel Mukari in Maputo, George Sargeant in Cantt, England, Nazneen Moshiri in Nairobi and Emma Ramani in Johannesburg; Writing by Emma Romney; Editing by Angus McSwan