Mozambique’s defense minister said today that a video showing men wearing army uniform beating and killing a naked woman is fake.
Jaime Neto pledged for ‘malicious people’ who paraded the footage in public and punished.
Videos circulated by several human rights groups on Monday showed heavily armed men taunting the woman and referring to her as ‘al-Shabaab’ – an Islamist rebel group.
It was reportedly filmed in the gas-rich province of Cabo Delgado, where the army has been locked in a terrible conflict with jihadists since 2017.
Mozambique’s military has condemned the apparent execution of a naked woman by men wearing military uniforms, shown in video footage, left and right.
In the video, one of the soldiers hits the victim with a stick to the head and to the body before they shoot and kill him on the side of the road, they say in the video.
In a statement released late Monday, the military said the images were considered shocking and horrific and ‘above all condemnable’.
‘The FDS (Defense and Security Forces) have reiterated that they do not agree with any barbaric act that confirms human rights violations,’ an inquiry into the authenticity of the video said.
Depros Mukena, director of Amnesty International’s East and Southern Africa, tweeted, “It’s quite cold.” ‘When does it end?’
Speaking to local television on Wednesday, Defense Minister Neto claimed that the video was made by ‘malicious people’ to damage the army’s image.
He did not provide further details but said that the filmmakers would be traced and punished.
Neto said the forces would continue to maintain peace in the province.
The footage comes amid allegations of misconduct by government troops in Cabo Delgado Province.
Military forces are struggling to regain control of the area, one of Africa’s largest liquefied natural gas projects.
ISIS fighters armed on 6 August claimed to have been seized from the Mozambique army after a clash at Mosimbo da Priya in the north of the country.
Militants have launched several attacks on villages and towns in Cabo Delgado in the past three years, killing more than 1,500 people and displacing at least 250,000 people.
The group has increased the folder in recent months by escalating violence as part of a campaign to establish an Islamic Kalipet.
A strategic port in the city of Mokimbo da Priya has been occupied by jihadists since 12 August.
Following an increase in insurgency, which saw the capture of the major port city in August, and reports and videos of security forces reacting, beatings or other abuses have become increasingly common.
The image was distributed online by the Islamic State Central Africa Province (ISCAP) and provided by the SITE Intelligence Group, on Thursday, on August 6, 2020, with Mozambique government troops near Mokimbo da Priya in northern Mozambique The latter shows piled weapons. Africa is yet another rebel hotspot of rebel successes to capture and hold Mozambique’s Islamic extremist rebels in the government, neighboring countries and the world.
Last week, Amnesty International said it attempted to verify the video, which featured molestation, torture and other ill treatment of prisoners, dismemberment of alleged opposition fighters and possible extrajudicial killings.
The government dismissed the allegations, saying rebels routinely engaged soldiers in an attempt to confuse national and international public opinion.
Human Rights Watch researcher Zinaida Machado called for an investigation and said that if such acts are carried out by soldiers, mistrust is sown in the population and bolsters the plot of the rebels.
“This is the worst case of betrayal,” he said, adding that fearful people should not flee from the rebels, so that they could endanger themselves so that they could keep them safe.